Shep Englander — Federation Journal
Cincinnati 2020 in 2017: Jacob Morvay
Each installment in this series features a different perspective on Cincinnati 2020, the Jewish community’s visionary plan for building an exceptional future.
This week, we hear from Jacob Morvay, a young professional, new to Cincinnati, who recently graduated from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s LEAD (Lead, Educate, Act, Develop) program.
How have you been involved with Cincinnati 2020 and the LEAD program?
I moved to Cincinnati about a year ago from New York City and was looking for a way to get more involved with the Jewish community in Cincinnati. With the recommendation of a family member, I signed up for LEAD [Lead, Educate, Act, Develop], a Jewish Federation program that educates young professionals in Cincinnati about the different organizations that support the Jewish community. LEAD was a great primer and leadership development program. I graduated earlier this year and already have been speaking to the boards of several local Jewish organizations about becoming involved.
What does Cincinnati 2020 mean to you, given your involvement with LEAD?
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati supports a gigantic interconnected system of agencies and a thriving Jewish community. Cincinnati 2020 organizes all of that into a strong plan that will ensure the long-term success of Cincinnati as a great city for Jewish culture and learning. LEAD is one piece of that plan—a program designed to develop today’s young professionals into the next generation’s innovative leaders.
Why should Cincinnati 2020, leadership development, and outreach to young adults be important to the community?
The way young adults connect to organizations and what they ask of them is very different than the Baby Boomer generation. Young adults today are focused on making an immediate impact on the key social issues they deem imperative. Ensuring Jewish Cincinnati is represented by a diverse group of leaders will ensure it meets the needs of young adults today. Leadership development programs like LEAD create the pathways for young adults to move into those important leadership positions.
How can we help others understand the importance of Cincinnati 2020?
I think the best way to help individuals understand Cincinnati 2020’s importance is to find their unique entry point—the small piece of the puzzle that impacts them. Once people see the value Cincinnati 2020 has already had on their family, they will begin to understand how the forward-thinking initiative can impact the whole Cincinnati Jewish community.
What does the future of Jewish Cincinnati look like for young adults?
The future looks great! Cincinnati is a growing city with up-and-coming neighborhoods, a phenomenal arts scene, and a low cost of living. The city has all of the amenities necessary to attract young Jewish families like mine from anywhere in the United States. We need to make sure we have the right way to help these newcomers connect with our Jewish community and navigate all it has to offer.
Has Cincinnati 2020 been successful so far?
If you can get this many Jews to agree to one common plan, I’d call that a large success! The Jewish community in Cincinnati is incredibly diverse, spanning different religious backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, political leanings, and family structures. Putting a plan in place that is inclusive to everyone in the community is a significant achievement.
What do you hope the community accomplishes through Cincinnati 2020 in the next five years, in terms of young adults, and otherwise?
I hope the community continues to work together on a shared vision for the city and starts to expand its goals to include Cincinnati as a whole and not just the Jewish community. The Jewish community will always be the priority, but only with a safe, affordable, and thriving city, can the Jewish community grow, too. The city has many issues to tackle, and the Jewish community, as a member of the Cincinnati community, needs to play an active role in creating solutions.
Find out more about Cincinnati 2020 and its impact to date on the community here, and meet the other people interviewed in this C2020 series.
The LEAD program and Cincinnati 2020 are just two of over fifty programs and agencies funded and administered by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati: We look at the whole picture, taking into account the diverse needs of the entire community. Together we can do almost anything.