Danielle V. Minson — Raising the Bar
This Rosh Hashanah, We Move Forward, Together
With Rosh Hashanah approaching, like you, I am assessing this past year, and planning for the new.
The Federation is a complex and growing organization. Many people tell us it is hard to know everything we are doing. I like to visualize the Federation as part of the beautiful tapestry that is the Cincinnati Jewish community. The Federation is changing as our community changes. Our job is to strengthen that tapestry as it grows—whether by fixing worn sections, finding better thread, or weaving in more colors to create a more vibrant pattern.
Therefore, the Federation is continuously adapting. Fundraising is still core to who we are, but we are also the community conveners and planners, driving the health and vitality of our community. Behind the scenes, we do extensive capacity-building for local Jewish organizations. We run community-wide programs, from fighting antisemitism to improving security for Jewish Cincinnati, and more. Across all these functions, our goal is clear—to strengthen the Cincinnati Jewish community.
Our shorthand for all this? We are moving forward, together.
Part of the Federation’s work is to collaboratively build a vision for how the diverse tapestry threads weave together. A crucial part of the tapestry is engagement. We support our traditional institutions, such as congregations and the JCC, as they continue to innovate to meet community needs. We also support giving Jews and our loved ones choices; meeting people where they are in their own Jewish journeys. We are committed to creating a tapestry that is welcoming of every generation, from newborns to those who have grandchildren of their own.
Cincinnati 2030, our community’s vision for the next seven years, emphasizes engagement, and our job is to help our community be successful in that goal. We want your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to have a strong Jewish identity, and to be proud to be Jewish. This engagement work will make Jewish Cincinnati more diverse and yet more unified.
We also continue to fight antisemitism and promote security. All the work our Jewish Community Relations Council does is a part of this fight, including advocacy at the city and state levels, and building alliances across Cincinnati. For example, the Cohen Family Leaders in Light Institute, our ground-breaking leadership program to promote inclusive democracy, fights antisemitism as it educates. We promote security by safeguarding individuals and organizations in Jewish Cincinnati and regionally. For example, we help organizations develop Community Emergency Response Plans, and receive training from the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency.
We hold Israel close in our hearts. Within the American Jewish community, Israel is not the unifier it once was. We do not fund the government; we fund nonprofits in Israel that align with our values. These values are pluralism–the belief in respect for diverse expressions of Judaism–and the idea of a shared society, a place where differences are embraced and valued. We also find creative ways locally to engage with Israel. One example is pilot programs we ran through Project Shema, with college students and community members, teaching them how to have conversations about Israel with their peers that deepen understanding and compassion. We also continue to send teens and college students to Israel. But there is no better way to learn about Israel than to go yourself. Please consider, during this time of reflection, joining us for the 2024 Mission Trip to Israel. This unforgettable trip will create these vital connections to Israel for all of us.
What do we hope for this coming year? We want future generations to be proudly Jewish in ways that feel meaningful to them, be safe from antisemitism, and feel connected to Israel. For all of us to move forward together, we have to create a stronger and more beautiful tapestry. This new year, our Federation will adapt and grow to continue that work.
Shana tova, and may your new year be sweet.