Shep Englander — Federation Journal
Cincinnati Goes National: The Scoop in February
Cincinnati Goes National. I’m proud of the several volunteer leaders in our community who have recently been named to leadership positions in national organizations. Here are a few current national roles:
- Suzette Fisher, a past Federation President, is one of ten national lay leaders who served on a strategic planning committee for our umbrella organization, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), which developed bold recommendations to restructure JFNA to help the Federation Movement realize its potential.
- Kathy Kanter’s concern about the world’s poorest Jews has led her to join a national network of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) as a JDC Ambassador.
- Ben Schneider, a Cincinnati JCRC board member, now serves on a Jewish Agency for Israel Board Committee. Ben is no stranger to national boardrooms, having previously served in leadership positions of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet.
- And Walter Spiegel, our JCRC President, sits on the Jewish Council for Public Affairs board, which is our national community relations and advocacy organization.
New Home for Home Care Service. Jewish Family Service is now providing personal caregiving services through the acquisition of Cedar Village Home Care. Renamed “StarPoint Home Care,” caregivers are available 24/7 to help older adults with daily living activities, so they feel comfortable, secure, and independent while remaining in familiar surroundings.
This transition is part of a community-wide effort to ensure continuity and quality of services for older adults in our community. (I’m proud that our SBS Human Resources team helped seamlessly onboard nearly 50 StarPoint employees within a 30-day deadline.)
Driving Out Darkness. In April, the JCRC will host a summit on antisemitism and hate at Cincinnati Union Terminal. This immersive learning experience is geared towards leaders in Cincinnati’s civic, governmental, religious, and educational sectors. It will feature national speakers as well as our local experts on antisemitism and how antisemitism intersects with other forms of hate. While the summit is primarily focused on our non-Jewish community partners, there is also great value for leaders within our own community. Registration is now open.
We Need to Talk. Our relationship with Israel has become strained by increasingly divergent political views and priorities in both countries. An example is last week’s announcement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will allow a party called Otzma Yehudit, whose predecessor was banned under Israeli law because of its openly racist views, into his coalition for the upcoming elections. This has been disheartening to many American Jews, because this party’s views are contrary to Israel’s founding principles and including them in an Israeli government would be a gift to anti-Israel activists. Our JCRC, along with many national organizations including AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League, made a statement condemning this act.
This has made the dialogue between American Jews and Israelis more challenging and more important. This year, our Israel Center, in partnership with the JCRC and Mayerson JCC, wants to bring people with diverse opinions together in the same room to promote learning and robust dialogue about Israel—to increase understanding of the other. This initiative is an opportunity to lean in and have productive conversations about divisive issues.
- Community Read: Encourage your book club to read the New York Times bestseller Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi then come hear the author speak on October 29.
- Israel in Your Living Room: Invite your friends over for some refreshments and some conversation about Israel, led by our new Community Emissary from Israel Amnon Maggid.
Put a Ring on It! The familiar sounds of Super Sunday… Stop by the J on Sunday, March 10, to participate in the community’s largest annual community phone-a-thon. It’s not too late to sign up to volunteer. Make some calls, grab some coffee and a bagel, and catch up with friends. It’s always a fun day. Thank you to our Super Sunday Cochairs, Andrea & Steve Baron and Sari & Ryan Small.
“I want to keep the Jewish community of Cincinnati strong, and the Federation is a big part of that.” —Andrea Baron, Super Sunday Cochair
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