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You give our Jewish community a better future

FALL 2019

HOW YOU HELP: Teens Taught Tools to Combat Antisemitism

JCRC Supports Cincinnati’s March of the Living participants

“We found students are carrying around a lot of the trauma with today’s uptick in antisemitism without even realizing it.”

– Jackie Congedo, Director Jewish Community Relations Council

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On June 11, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) facilitated a workshop on understanding antisemitism and combatting hate for rising college freshmen recently returned from their March of the Living trip. “These kids came back with a transformative experience of pivotal Jewish history; our job was to bridge to today’s challenges, and empower them in their Jewish identity, to recognize and combat the resurgence in bigotry,” said Justin Kirshner, Assistant Director of the JCRC.

“Overall, the session helped bring a more nuanced discussion of antisemitism than really any I’d ever had. It was something that led to a lot of thought and self-reflection.”

The students were taught inquiry-based conversational techniques to address antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. They learned not only approaches to disarm aggressiveness, but actionsteps to better navigate the moral high ground and advocate for a more just and compassionate world.

– Matt Youkilis, participant

Kiev’s Queen of Chess: Meet Liudmila “I fight for every day, for every moment of my life”



Jews like Liudmila live in dire poverty across the former Soviet Union. Through our Annual Campaign, all are helped by our partner agency, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, whose motto is, “If a Jew is in danger—anywhere in the world—JDC is there.”


In 1960, Liudmila Lublinskaya was the top chess player in Ukraine and a member of the Soviet Union’s national team. Liudmila worked hard her whole life, only to end up alone, in poverty, with less than $2/day in pension. Liudmila says:

Chess really is a noble game. You know, chess can be a very helpful tool to analyze your life. You should always be thinking. Chess forces you to think. It’s hard to even describe the extent to which chess facilitates personal growth.

The knight is a sneaky piece. I’m more like a bishop. I’m direct. A pawn? [shaking her head] That’s not me at all. [laughs].

I fight for every day, for every moment of my life. You have to, to not throw up your hands, to do everything in your power to make even that which seems impossible, possible.

You know, life… you need to love life, I think—and the rest will follow.


New Way to Connect Helps Community Grow Among Jewish Young Adults:

strengthens Jewish community among Cincinnati’s young adults, like Natalie.

Interview with Natalie Adler On her marriage: I’m from the Cincinnati area, and my husband Josh is from Columbus. We actually met at work. I was already in the process of converting to Judaism. When he found out that I was Jewish, he came up to me and told me he was, too. I thought he was lying; I just thought it was a pickup line! It turned out it was true. And the rest is history [laughs]. On finding community: We always participated in activities, as we heard about them. But aside from NextGen@Wise, it was just word of mouth or through Facebook. Cincinnati Vine [the new Federation-run website] really gave us a place to go and see everything that’s going on. Now we can pick and choose what we want to do—from a really wide range of options. And to be honest, I feel like there are too many options! I want to do everything! Compared to a year ago, we are so much more involved. On their new involvement: Typically, we do something every week, even if it’s just Shabbat dinner.

– Darya Solomon, Friend from Israel

—Natalie Adler

On thankfulness: I’m grateful for Cincinnati Vine. To meet young adults where they are—in the digital space—makes getting involved so much easier.

THE SCOOP “You bring Israel to Cincinnati, and Cincinnati to Israel, through the Friends from Israel, or Chaverim program.”

“It is so important for our community to focus on young adults, because we are the next generation of leaders.”

Yossi Klein Halevi to Speak. Yossi Klein Halevi, the author of the New York Times-bestselling Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, which has been a community read all summer, will come to speak on October 29 at the Mayerson JCC. Cincinnati Welcomes New Friends from Israel. Darya Solomon and May From just arrived from our partner city of Netanya to spend a year educating Cincinnatians about their home. Every year, this program engages with more than 5,000 unique individuals, including over 2,800 non-Jews. Your Response Matters. Through one of our partner agencies, you were able to help with Hurricane Dorian relief, immediately. Our community stepped up with over $20,000 in funding to go directly to those in need. Thank you! |3


The Federation’s Annual Campaign for 2020 has started, and Jewish Cincinnati needs your gift to help the vulnerable, connect with Jewish communities worldwide, strengthen our agencies and congregations, and protect and energize Jewish life here in Cincinnati.


This year The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati will again triple any increase you give over last year’s donation, so $100 becomes $300. GIVE TODAY

A Year Like No Other Dear Friend, As each New Year rolls around, we reflect on the past year, and look to see how we will rise up to meet the challenges of the coming year. Last September, for the first time in American history, Jews were killed in their house of worship in Pittsburgh. Then it happened again in Poway, California. Last year, the FBI reported the largest spike in antisemitic incidents on record. This year, I spent more time on security than my job description ever predicted I would. This coming year will likely be similar, as we continue to make security a top priority. Seven years ago, we were one of the first cities to launch a community-wide security program program, funded by The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. We vastly improved the security of our congregations, schools, and community agencies. But we are not resting on our laurels. We: • • 4|

recently invited organization leaders to hear from security experts, including the head of security from Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation. are working with key facilities on annual security reviews.

• •

are monitoring digital media for possible threats. are assisting organizations that request security funding from Ohio.

For the most recent updates on security please go to We will also look at this coming year with more insight, because this winter, with The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, we’ll finish a new community study, which should drive useful analyses for all of us. I wish you and your family a meaningful and joyous new year.

Shep Englander, CEO