One of my favorite shows from my tween and early teenage years was Blossom. The lead character, for which the show was named, was a smart, slightly nerdy, goody-goody around my age and was played by Jewish actress, Mayim Bialik. (We had loads in common, except for the fact that NBC had already given her a show, and I was still waiting to be discovered!) I watched Blossom every week for the five years that it was on and then didn’t give Mayim or Blossom much thought until one evening in 2002, seven years after it was off the air.
I was bored that night, randomly surfing online, and I suddenly wondered: “Whatever happened to Mayim Bialik?” So I googled her and saw from an article that she was a student at UCLA and getting more interested in Judaism. “I bet she’ll love Partners in Torah!” I said to myself. (Partners in Torah is a Jewish organization that sets up free telephone learning partnerships for Jews with limited knowledge who want to learn more.) I had just started working there a few months earlier and thought it was the greatest thing in Jewish education since sliced challah!
So I attempted to cold-call Mayim and invite her to join the program, but after googling her some more, I realized that celebrities don’t give out their numbers to the public, lest crazy people, like me, call them up and offer them things like free Torah-telephone-learning-partners!
In 2006, Mayim Bialik and I got connected in a most incredible way. Through our learning through Partners in Torah, Mayim’s and my life were immeasurably changed.