How You Help — Stories of Impact
Bob’s Story: Program Fosters Leader Focused on Disabled and Jewish Community: Guest Post by Sally & Marty Hiudt
We wanted to share Bob’s story so you know how much your gift matters. Because together, we can do almost anything. —Sally and Marty Hiudt, Community Campaign Co-chairs
“During college, I had a job in a workshop helping folks with developmental disabilities. That’s when I had my moment: this cause doesn’t get enough attention—what can I do to help?” said Bob Oestreicher.
“That’s when I had my moment—what can I do to help?”
A Cincinnati native, Bob went through the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s leadership development program for young professionals, called LEAD, with that desire to help in mind. Today he serves on numerous Jewish nonprofit boards, including the Jewish Federation’s board, and knows a significant amount about how Jewish and non-Jewish agencies help people with disabilities.
But even Bob was surprised to realize recently just how much our donors help the disabled. He didn’t know till he met Maddy that our donors help fund ways for Maddy, despite her cognitive delays, to be fully included at Camp at the J, swimming, and other Mayerson JCC programs.
“Much of my community service has been with organizations who help people with developmental disabilities,” said Bob. “So I already had a pretty good grasp of where the money goes—but I had no idea about this program, and it was really nice to hear about it.” And, he said, meeting Maddy was “heartwarming, great. She is very special.”
This Federation model—making sure that money goes where it’s needed most—is what allowed the financing for Bob to be a part of LEAD. When he returned to Cincinnati after law school in 2009, Bob was invited to become a part of the second LEAD class.
“What [LEAD] really did for me was education in the Jewish community structure, what they do,” said Bob. He has been involved ever since.
Currently Bob Oestreicher is president-elect of JVS Career Services and will become president this spring. He also serves on the Easter Seals Tristate board, the Jewish Community Relations Council board, and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati board.