Danielle V. Minson — Raising the Bar
Staying True to Our Purpose in Difficult Times
This week, as we are emerging from quarantine, mass demonstrations have continued in our city and across our nation. The demonstrations and many of the issues they raise are emotional and complex. Many across our community are concerned and are asking how to better understand and support reforms to prevent police brutality and racism.
The Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the public affairs arm of the Jewish community. The JCRC’s mission is to protect Jewish security, recognizing that Jewish security depends on a just society for all.That’s why our JCRC has long devoted itself to coalitions with civic organizations representing people of color. Recently, our JCRC has been a coalition partner on advocacy issues including criminal justice reform, gun and urban neighborhood safety, and voter access. You can find opportunities to engage in these issues here.
Please also stay tuned to JCRC’s Facebook page if you would like to show solidarity with communities of color. Our JCRC has curated an array of thought-provoking resources for racial justice education, and is currently developing programming that will engage our community in interactive and transformative learning on these topics.
In nearly two centuries of Jewish life in Cincinnati, rarely has our community needed to manage so many complex challenges at once. Thank you for responding with compassion and with care. And I’m so proud of Federation volunteers and professionals for responding with creativity, boldness, and agility.
We plan like a system but care and give to each other like a family. It showed, last Friday, when 45 leaders representing every Jewish agency, school, and congregation participated in the ongoing work of the SAFE Facilities Reopen Group that Federation created and coordinates.
We hit a high mark in collaboration. Cincinnati benefits from the full spectrum of Jewish congregations—from Humanistic to Orthodox. Despite the broad differences in belief and practice, it was Rabbi Robert Barr of Congregation Beth Adam, and Rabbi Abrohom Weinrib of Congregation Zichron Eliezer, who joined forces to lead the Reopen subgroup on how congregations can operate now, as quarantines ease but the pandemic continues. I am so proud that their commitment to keeping everyone safe during COVID-19 drove respectful collaboration and concrete, valuable results.
Our values are clear—we must protect our seniors from social isolation, empower those suddenly jobless and support the mentally ill or those with disabilities.Here’s some good that you made happen through your support of the Annual Campaign:
Speaking of social distancing, I’ll end with gratitude that many share for Dr. Amy Acton, who stepped down as Ohio’s Health Director yesterday. Dr. Acton combined her medical expertise and her crisis communication talents into wise and courageous leadership during this pandemic. She kept all of us in Ohio safer. She let nothing stop her including being attacked by antisemites and other haters. She is a modern hero.
Stay healthy and stay committed to a better world.