Jaynie Levinson — Connecting Jewish Young Adults
Energizing Jewish Cincinnati’s Next Generation
Cincinnati’s Jewish young adult community is thriving, and it is because of the new wave of young leaders. Here, I talk with Eric Lamont, our YAD board chair about his role, why he decided to get involved, and why giving is such a big part of his life.
What is your role, as it relates to the Jewish community in Cincinnati?
I am the Board Chair of the Young Adult Division (YAD), which is a subcommittee of the Federation tasked with driving engagement, community building, and philanthropy with the under 45 community. Additionally, I am a board member at the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, and a member of the LEAD Committee of YAD.
Why do you give and volunteer in the Jewish community?
Growing up in a relatively non-Jewish part of the country, my Jewish identity often felt like a part of my life that was reserved for events at the synagogue and family gatherings, which left me feeling partially unfulfilled. My initial participation with the Cincinnati Jewish community helped me understand that I could bring my cultural & religious identity to the rest of my life. That understanding is due to how welcoming and inclusive the Cincinnati Jewish community is.
What’s your favorite part about being on the YAD Board?
I find the passion of the entire YAD community inspiring, and feel honored to be able to serve that community on the YAD board. The desire to build a robust community is evident across the entire YAD demographic, which makes being a part of the YAD board so much fun.
What would you say to someone who told you they don’t have enough money to be able to donate?
This is a very real concern among some in the YAD cohort, and I always reply that money is great, but that it doesn’t solve all of our problems. I learned in LEAD and have seen firsthand that it takes the combination of time, talent, and treasure (money) from our professional staff and lay leaders to build a great community. After we discuss that, I make an ask for them to volunteer or to make a small contribution, and usually they agree.
What is the most important message you have for our generation?
We cannot take the strength of the Jewish community for granted, and that it takes each and every one of us to ensure it evolves to meet the needs of Jewish Cincinnati today and tomorrow.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The Cincinnati Jewish community is truly special. It is one in which ideas and outside of the box thinking are always welcome, and where the community actively seeks to bring people from all social, economic, and Jewish backgrounds together. We are very lucky to have this in our home town.
Eric Lamont is an Assistant Brand Manager – Head & Shoulders. He is actively involved in the local community, serving on the Holocaust and Humanity Board, and a LEAD graduate (which gives young professionals an opportunity to meet community leaders and learn about the numerous agencies and organizations which make up Jewish Cincinnati).
Thank you for caring about our community and what we do.
Stay connected: sign up for our newsletter here.