Federation Update: Spring 2019

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You give our Jewish community a better future


HOW YOU HELP: Grandparents and Grandchildren Travel to Israel Together

“You should always remember where you come from so that it gives you strength to go forward.”

A first-of-its-kind trip breathes new life into family’s Jewish identity.

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–Jeanne Schmerler

Pictured: Sam Shapiro with grandparents Jeanne and Michael Schmerler


“You Gotta Keep Smiling:” You Helped Batya Find a Job She Loves JVS Career Services’ network and coaching was crucial


empowered Batya Selavan to find a fulfilling full-time job after a year of trying. She now works in the kitchens at the Mayerson JCC. She says, “I’ve found I have a new extended family. Our crew, there’s no us and them. We’re all together.”

“You gotta keep smiling, you gotta keep plugging away. I got frustrated, but I kept going and I got a job.” A quick talker who exudes energy, Batya Selevan grins. It was a difficult road. After attending vocational school to become a medical billing and coding specialist, Batya applied for 60 different jobs, with no luck.

“Over the course of a year, we helped Batya through coaching, practical support, and networking.” —Kim Slaton, JVS Career Services Managing Director Then Batya found JVS Career Services, a local nonprofit that you support through Federation, which helps job-seeking individuals find meaningful work. “Kim networks, so when I go to the interview, it’s like they know me already. Next thing I know I’m getting hired,” said Batya.


“They gave me a tour of the kitchens at the Mayerson JCC. They were impressed with how fast I was

The Super Sunday chairs helped to meet our goal this March.

“You gotta keep smiling, you gotta keep plugging away.” —Batya Selavan washing dishes. They said: no probation period for me.” She was hired on the spot. Batya thrived. “I’ve found a new extended family here. Our crew—there’s no us and them. We’re all together.”

Super Sunday results. On March 10, Super Sunday, our community phone-a-thon was a true success. Our volunteers and donors exceeded our goal of $150,000 in just one day. We are grateful. Planning & Allocations. Cincinnati is one of the few Federations that allocates your gift in a fully participatory way, with the goal of high impact giving. More than 60 volunteers spend 650 hours to review funding requests and assess community organizations. This year, P&A prioritized engaging organizations in strategic discussions about their future. Driving Out Darkness. On April 9, the Jewish Community Relations Council hosted “Driving Out Darkness 2019,” the Cincinnati Regional Summit on Antisemitism and Hate. This brand new, immersive learning experience was sold out. | 3


Grandparents and Grandchildren Moved by Trip to Israel Together

“I liked Israel because I got to learn from my grandparents a lot,” Jacob Baron said. “My favorite place was the Western Wall because I felt close to G-d.” Jacob and his grandparents are one of four sets (zugot or “pairs”) of grandparents and grandchildren from Cincinnati who traveled to Israel together—the culmination of a brand new, yearlong Jewish Agency for Israel program to strengthen Jewish identity, called G2: Global Intergenerational Initiative. Your gift, in supporting the Federation, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Partnership2Gether, created and organized G2. (Please note: G2 participants paid their own travel and participation costs.) “To be in Israel with my grandson was truly incredible,” concluded Jeanne Schmerler.

“The trip was a tremendous way of introducing Judaism to my one-and-only grandson, Elliot.” —Barry Gibberman

The brand-new G2: Global Intergenerational Initiative is a year-long program of monthly meetings of grandparent/ grandchild pairs from across the US and Israel, culminating with a week-long trip to Israel.

You Helped 80 Ethiopian Jews Make Aliyah First flight of 2019 In February, eighty Ethiopians landed at Ben-Gurion Airport— the first group of immigrants to come from the African country following the Israeli government’s decision last October to bring 1,000 members of the Falash Mura community with immediate relatives living in Israel. You fund the Jewish Agency for Israel, which coordinates immigrant absorption. According to the Jewish Agency, 2018 closed with a 5 percent rise in aliyah, including a 45 percent increase from Russia. More than 29,600 people immigrated to Israel in 2018 from around the world.

Upon arrival, a reception was held at Terminal 1, where Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Isaac Herzog welcomed the immigrants.

“Every Jew who comes to Israel and establishes a home here completes another piece of the wonderful mosaic of the Jewish people in their historic homeland.” —Isaac Herzog The immigrants (olim) were then greeted by their Israeli relatives. The immigrants then traveled to absorption centers across the country operated by the Jewish Agency for Israel, which you support as a donor to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.


Your Gift Is Crucial: Please Give by May 31 Thank you so much if you have already given. Our 2019 Annual Campaign ends on May 31. We still need your help to meet our goals and commitments. Every single donor counts, and we rely on you, our Silver Circle donors, to help those who need it most, in Cincinnati, in Israel, and globally. Thank you! It’s easy to give. Please go to jewishcincinnati.org/give or call Debra Miller at 513-985-1508. Thank you for your generosity.


Together we are building a vibrant community that helps our most vulnerable, nurtures connections with Israel, and protects and energizes Jewish life. Together we can do almost anything.

New Home Care Service; Talking About Israel I want to share two pieces of news with you.

There are several ways to “talk” this year:

First, 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 communitywide effort to ensure continuity and quality of services for older adults in our community.

• 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.

Second, our relationship with Israel has become strained by increasingly divergent political views and priorities in both countries. 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.

Sign up today for the Community Read or Israel in Your Living Room at: jewishcincinnati.org/we-need-to-talk


• Israel in Your Living Room: Invite your friends over for refreshments and conversation about Israel, led by our new Community Emissary from Israel, Amnon Maggid.

Shep Englander, CEO