Daniel Sulzberg: Smile Now

From a global pandemic, climate change, systemic racism, and other challenges there is no doubt that 2020 has been a stressful year filled with change. From a Jewish standpoint, I found myself asking why would God let these kinds of things happen? Maybe it’s the world’s way of saying that we can no longer  turn a blind eye and continue to move forward in the way things were going. It was time to stop everything, take a breath, and reassess not just our own lives, but our communities, our country, and our world.

It made me realize that there is no better time than to start using my ability as an illustrator to leave a legacy not just for my own kids, but for the entire next generation. The next generation is where change can start and that is where it can be most powerful. This led me to create 30 illustrations, one every day in the month of October of inspirational life lessons that I wanted to pass down to my own children. By the end of the month, I had an entire book that I titled “Smile Now: Life lessons from 2020.”  It is filled with illustrations that address Jewish related themes of love, community, resilience, and tikkun olam. I decided to make the book free on my website for anyone that wants to download a copy and share it with the little ones in their life.

Change can come from just a single message or a powerful image can resonate so strongly in the mind of a child. The next generation can’t do it on their own. It’s up to us to instill these Jewish values. I invite you to come spend some time with this book and see if it resonates with you and your children as well.


Daniel Sulzberg is CBB member and professional illustrator. You can read more of his writing and download the book here: www.danvillage.com/smilenow