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You give our Jewish community a better future



First-ever Summit on Antisemitism and Hate JCRC conference draws more than 300 community leaders, allies

“People who want to be hateful toward anyone are relying on us retreating into our own communities, turning inward, keeping quiet. We have to push against that trend.”

– Jackie Congedo, Director Jewish Community Relations Council

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Is ‘Canary in a Coal Mine’ for Other Communities

FBI statistics show a rising tide of antisemitic incidents in the US. On April 9 at Cincinnati Union Terminal, our Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) held a one-day summit on antisemitism and hate, called Driving Out Darkness, to fight that tide. It drew more than 300 leaders from across our city’s civic, governmental, religious, and educational sectors. “We need to pay attention when we see antisemitism rising because it’s foundational in terms of the way many hate groups operate. It’s sort of a canary in a coal mine indicator to other communities that things are changing and not for the better,” said Jackie Congedo, JCRC’s Director. The connections to other communities resonated. The Summit was at capacity, and more than 60 percent of participants came from outside our Jewish community.

“The content clearly resonated, and the day was more successful than we could have ever anticipated.”

– Walter Spiegel, Past President Jewish Community Relations Council

Your gift continues to drive out hate in the work the JCRC does every day to advocate on behalf of equality and for the Jewish community.

Increased Funding for Security for Jewish Nonprofits Federation Helps Secure $8.5 million in Ohio Budget Bill

You fund increased security at our schools, congregations, and agencies through Ohio Jewish Communities (OJC), which represents the eight Ohio Jewish Federations in Columbus and in Washington, DC on a range of state, federal, and international issues. This year it successfully advocated for increased funding for security for facilities under threat.


On June 12, the Ohio Senate released their amended version of the state’s operating budget (Sub. HB 166) for the upcoming two fiscal years. It includes key funding for nonprofit security needs in the wake of a sharp rise in terror attacks and attempted attacks on houses of worship, faith-based institutions, cause-based nonprofits, and individuals identifiable as members of religious, racial, or ethnic minorities.

Ohio Jewish Communities Executive Director Howie Beigelman advocated extensively for the bill. Ohio Jewish Communities Executive Director Howie Beigelman advocated extensively for the bill. He said “A terror plot was foiled by law enforcement in Toledo just months ago. The KKK came to Dayton. Houses of worship, schools, and community centers should be safe spaces, but instead have become potential targets. We commend the leadership for acting now, before it is too late.”


Israel Trip for Young Couples Strengthens Community, Learning Last November twenty young couples, with at least one Jewish partner, got on an airplane at CVG as strangers, embarking on a ten-day trip to Israel as part of the Honeymoon Israel program. Those forty strangers are now close friends. “It really worked! We built some real friendships,” Abby Douglass said, sitting next to her husband, Craig.

created such strong community among Cincinnati’s first “Honeymoon Israel” group of young couples that another trip is planned. A new trip is scheduled for February 2020.

“It was the first time I felt like I was saying ‘we’ when talking about the Jewish community,” said Craig. Participants said they came away feeling stronger as a couple.

“I’ve been looking for a way to have a Jewish community in our lives for a long time, and this was such an easy way to build that community.”

—Josh Handel

—Abby Douglass


“One of my big takeaways from this trip was: we have our differences, and that’s okay,” said Jennifer Manago about her non-Jewish husband David. “By the end of the trip, I felt so much more confident that everything was going to be fine.”

You changed their lives: young Israeli women volunteer at summer camp and rebuild a community center in Puerto Rico destroyed by Hurricane Maria.

“You have this incredible opportunity to connect with your partner, and connect with the community in an incredible place like Israel. All of our lives are busy and crazy, but it’s a time you won’t regret.”

The Federation worked with our partner agency the Mayerson JCC, the Honeymoon Israel national organization, and The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati on this trip. Your gift does not fund their travel to Israel, but it funds the Federation support that organized the program locally. New Jewish Young Adult Leadership Cohort. Through LEAD (Lead, Educate, Act and Develop), you educate young professionals in Cincinnati about all the community offers, and prepare them for leadership. Applications due August 1. JCRC Builds Alliances. On April 6, the Jewish Community Relations Council helped convene a meeting between the Bhutanese community of Cincinnati and police chiefs around Cincinnati. Israeli Women Make a Difference in Puerto Rico. Recently, a group of Israeli women arrived in Puerto Rico for three months to volunteer in a summer camp for local children and rebuild a community center destroyed in 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Your gift made this possible through our partner agency Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).


Thank you for your generosity and caring for our community!ent account, or insurOur annual campaign just closed, reaching $5.7 million and exceeding our goal. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the gifts that we received throughout the campaign, and right at the end. You inspire us.


If you have any questions about the Campaign, please contact Ariel Weiss, Campaign Director, at or 513-985-1594. 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 Bold Strategic Plan for Federations Nationally Dear Friend, I rarely share about the Federation movement nationally. However recently, Bill Freedman, Create Your Jewish Legacy Chair, and I participated in a watershed board meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). We voted to launch JFNA’s ambitious new strategic plan. Suzette Fisher, our previous past President, was one of a select group of national leaders who guided JFNA’s new strategic plan. I’m particularly excited about the two main pillars of JFNA’s new plan because both of them are areas the Cincinnati Federation has already prioritized. •

Talent: developing and retaining excellent leadership, feeding and nurturing the pipeline, increasing organizational health, and increasing board chair success and excellence.

• Business Intelligence: JFNA will collect, analyze, and share performance data across all Federations 4|

to produce benchmarks that Federations can use to evaluate their success.

I am proud that Suzette was asked to lead JFNA’s team executing their national talent management strategy. Cincinnati was the first city to design a community-wide approach to attracting and retaining professional talent for all our agencies and congregations. Our talent strategy has been collaboratively led by the Federation and its Shared Business Service’s HR Director, The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, and our partner agencies JVS Career Services and the Mayerson JCC. Enjoy your summer, and thanks for caring.

Shep Englander, CEO