Danielle V. Minson — Raising the Bar
The Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial is Over—What Now?
I’m still enjoying the glow from the October 15 concert at the Andrew J Brady Music Center that marked the end of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial year. The singing of the Havdalah before three amazing bands performed was beautiful. I’ve never introduced a rock band before, and it felt amazing. As I stood on stage looking out over the excited crowd, I felt grateful for all the good that this year had brought Jewish Cincinnati and Cincinnati itself.
The concert itself was a gift from the Jewish community to the city. We made ticket prices affordable, and we made it happen. I love that we could bring that to the community.
Our community came together to truly hit it out of the park this whole celebratory year. We had sixty events with an amazing attendance of more than 50,000 people. Mazel tov to everyone who participated.
Where should we go next? We have a plan.
We look to the future using Cincinnati 2030, our community’s strategic plan. It aspires to “create our home together” by empowering everyone to choose their own manner of engagement in, and expression of, Jewish communal life. The Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial year’s many successes, sparked by its collaborative culture, bode well for our future. I can’t wait to see how the Jewish community creates our home together in the next 200 years.
What did the Jewish Bicentennial accomplish?
- Collaboration with non-Jewish Cincinnati on an unprecedented scale.The Jewish Bicentenntial Committee, led by Kim Heiman and Tamara Harkavy, and managed by Marie Krulewitch Browne, created and mobilized a platform with such appeal that after the year had kicked off, non-Jewish organizations came to the Jewish Bicentennial Committee to ask to be a part of it. Planned events nearly doubled thanks to buy-in from the broader community.
- Collaboration among Jewish organizations. We are a collaborative community, yet even with that, participation among Jewish organizations was impressive. A total of 25 Jewish organizations stepped up as presenting sponsors, sponsors, or founding partners.
- Invitations to collaborate: It was David Harris of Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati and Dr. Gary Zola of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion who saw that a simple milestone, the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Chestnut Street Cemetery, could become a community- and city-wide celebration. The rededication ceremony for the cemetery coupled with the ish Festival the same day started our momentum strong and our sights high.
Those are all big wins. Happy 200th birthday, Jewish Cincinnati.
PS: The next truly big Jewish community event is on the horizon: the Jewish Federation is coordinating a community-wide mission trip to Israel, set for July of 2024. You may already have heard about this through your congregations. Learn more here.
Thanks for caring about our community and what we do.
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