WHIM (What Inspires Me) is a weekly post by Cathy Gardner, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. Each week Cathy will discuss current events, important news stories and all things related to Jewish Federations and the Dayton Jewish community.
Where in the World is Akko?
As I sit in my hotel room in Newark, New Jersey on this very cold, snowy afternoon, I find myself reflecting on the excitement and energy of the past five days. Last Friday, I came to Newark for the Partnership2Gether (P2G) Interconnection Conference. The purpose of the conference was to explore best practices, share our P2G experiences and discuss innovative programming ideas and opportunities with other communities in our P2G region.
Over the past 20 years, P2G has become the Jewish Agency for Israel’s (and Jewish Federations of North America’s) most successful model for creating relationships between global Jewish communities and communities in Israel. Dayton is part of the U.S. Central Area Consortium, which consists of 14 U.S. Jewish Federation communities, Budapest, Hungary and Israel’s Western Galilee (near the city of Akko).
So what does P2G do? Quite simply, it creates connections through people working together. And through this, long-lasting friendships and work relationships are established. We have had numerous events through P2G including a visit last June from Dr. Eisenman, head of internal medicine at the Galilee Medical Center. Recently, Jewish Family Services Director Tara Feiner and two social workers from Dayton area hospitals participated in a Social Work mission to the Western Galilee. In addition, our April 15th Israel Independence Day Celebration will feature authentic Israeli cuisine from Chef Morris, who is from our P2G region.
The wonderful thing about conferences is they give people like me an opportunity to hear what other communities are doing. When they speak about what has worked for them (and what hasn’t worked), it inspires me to explore the possibilities that are before us and start thinking of ideas for future programs.
I heard about some amazing upcoming P2G events. One in particular sounded fabulous. Louisville, who is part of our consortium, will host a Bike & Bourbon tour in October. That weekend, Louisville will also host an art festival. I’m sure the energy in their city will be amazing.
One of P2G’s most successful programs is called “Women Cooking a Dialogue.” Women from various faiths come together to share their culture, customs and food. I love the idea of this, and am working to bring this program to Dayton in the coming year.
The possibilities for P2G in the Dayton Jewish community are endless. With community members such as Irv Moscowitz (who has been a longtime proponent of P2G) and Dave London (our newest chair) at the helm, I know we can grow P2G in Dayton. I’m so excited for what lies ahead!