We’ll take some inspiration with that coffee
Photo: Courtesy Marshall Lestz
Marshall Lestz with his wife Leslie and their children (left to right) Ezra, Tzila and Yossi

Marshall Lestz’s daily dose 

By Deb Silverthorn

Marshall Lestz’s more than 200 Rebuilder Project followers open his daily WhatsApp and email posts with his cheerful “Good morning everybody” greeting and signature signoff: “Keep on building.” The messages contained in the posts share tactics for transformation, stimulating introspection and growth, and rival the best cup of java to start the day.

A recent entry spoke of living “b’simcha versus b’grudgingly. B’simcha means with joy, b’grudgingly means with oy. All the stuff we ‘gotta’ do, the not particularly fun stuff. Why not ascribe a deeper meaning to these things? Broaden our perspective. Reframe the ‘blah,’” Lestz posted. 

“Is there one little thing on your list of daily activities you can look at in a more positive, loftier and holier light? Over time, as our perspective starts to slowly shift, our ‘b’grudgingly’ list will start to shrink and our ‘b’simcha’ list will grow.”

The Rebuilder Project, a free email or WhatsApp message sent Monday through Friday, as both written and audio clips, was inspired by a talk Lestz gave at Congregation Ohr HaTorah’s Ohr’s Got Talent in 2019. Just days before Rosh Hashanah, he spoke to the congregation about the concept of sinas chinam, baseless hatred among Jews, which he described as the reason for destruction of the Beis Hamikdash (the Temple) and the reason it has yet to be rebuilt. For Lestz, working on rebuilding oneself and relationships is a year-round endeavor. Thus the Rebuilder Project was born.

Lestz met with Ohr HaTorah’s Rabbi Aryeh Feigenbaum and they created a call to action. Now, Lestz’s subscribers participate from coast to coast. His goal: a worldwide community.

“Marshall’s talent is looking at the world in a most positive and beautiful way,” said Feigenbaum. “He does a great job of connecting and making a difference.” Now numbering nearly 300, his daily messages thus far “all with great intention and consideration, are truly a labor of love.”

A founder of 31,000 FT advertising agency, Lestz carries the creativity of his business, providing brand architecture, consumer insight, logos and client growth strategies, into most aspects of life. 

Photo: Roark Johnsonz
“You don’t know me, but I know you,” Shaquille O’Neal, who has promoted several of the products Marshall Lestz’s agency represents, said in a Nov. 13 post to the Rebuilder Project. “I know what you are doing. You are spreading the love and you are spreading peace and for that, I love you.”

“Marshall has a special way of taking messages from everyday happenings and turning them into meaningful lessons in addition to his enjoyable delivery,” said Rabbi Moshe Segal, founder of DATA of Richardson. “His takes on life teach us to look at our own lives, to maybe create a ‘Marshall minute’ and realize ‘what have I gained from my life today.’”

Recently, some of Lestz’s professional creativity came through in a message from Shaquille O’Neal, who has promoted several of the products 31,000 FT represents.

“You don’t know me, but I know you. I know what you are doing. You are spreading the love and you are spreading peace and for that, I love you,” said O’Neal. “Shalom, baruch Hashem, Shabbat shalom and I’m with you. Keep on building.” 

A San Antonio native, Lestz is the son of Darlene and Sid and brother of Robert. The University of Texas at Austin graduate moved to Dallas and became connected with Dallas Area Torah Association (DATA). He walked into one class with a list of questions, and said it changed his life.

He took class after class, then a leave from work to participate in the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in Los Angeles’ ulpan program.

While in LA, he met and became engaged to his wife, Leslie. The couple married in 1999; they are the parents of Yossi, Ezra and Tzila and are affiliated with both Ohr HaTorah and DATA.

“I’m so grateful for my family’s support and tremendous patience; working on the posts can get time-consuming,” said Lestz. “Ideas definitely come from family moments and once in a while someone will excitedly comment, ‘That’s a Rebuilder!’”

To receive Rebuilder Project messages by WhatsApp or email, email rebuilderproject@gmail.com.

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