The funnel is used as an image in Judaism as far back as the Talmud. In Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), a funnel is mentioned as a metaphor for a student for whom learning "goes in one side and out the other." Today, we would say, "In one ear…"
David Sherman uses the image of a funnel in a different way in his second book for kids, Findley the Funnel. Findley is a young boy never happy with what he receives. He learns that happiness, instead, can be found by doing good deeds with and for others.
"No matter how much he gets, Findley is never 'full,' never satisfied," Sherman explains. "until he learns the joy of giving to others."
Sherman's first children's book, Precious Penelope in the Kingdom of Very Large Castles, is about a young girl who journeys throughout her realm and comes to appreciate her own life. Net proceeds of these books are devoted to children's literacy programs.
Sherman himself has a great deal of experience in doing good deeds. He has served on the Federation Board since he was 32, becoming one of its youngest chairmen. While chairman, Sherman helped design J-HELP, an initiative for those hit hardest by the recession, and traveled to Haiti in 2010 to assess the Jewish communal response to its earthquake. He also has served as chairman of JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council, chaired JUF's Annual Campaign in 2007, and has led lead JUF missions to Israel. He is the youngest ever to receive the Julius Rosenwald Award, JUF's highest honor. Additionally, he is a founding chairman of North America's Israel Action Network.
In his business life, Sherman is chairman of Benj. E. Sherman & Sons Real Estate, a firm founded by his grandfather-and headed for many years by his father, Leonard, who has received the Julius Rosenwald Award himself. Today, the company owns and manages thousands of apartments in communities across the United States.
Sherman also considers himself "a father who enjoys telling stories to his children." Findley is based on one of these stories he created and told to his children. He and his wife, Susie, have five kids: Ned, Gordie, Addie, Jacob, and Eli (also dogs and cats, three of each).
Sherman will read and sign copies of Findley the Funnel on Sunday, Feb. 9, at The Book Stall at 811 Elm Street, Winnetka.
Findley's illustrator, Kevin Luthardt, is an artist, muralist, and author/illustrator of many children's picture books. Based in the Chicago area, he visits 30 to 40 schools and libraries each year as a visiting artist. He and his wife, Alicia, have four boys: Avery, Elijah, Ezra, and Kai. n
Findley the Funnel is available at findleythefunnel.com.