In 1974, I was a freshman in college at the University of Florida. During that first year, I went to a lecture with my Jewish sorority sisters and friends, featuring Moshe Dayan, the Israeli military leader and politician.
On Sunday, November 28th, many of you will gather around the menorah with family and friends to light a candle for the first night of Chanukah.
This past weekend, I was speaking with friends who are getting ready to head to Florida for the winter. Our conversation quickly transitioned from talking about their travels to discussing Florida’s large Jewish population.
It’s hard to believe the High Holidays are already behind us. Many of us are left with wonderful memories of attending services, gathering with family and friends, and enjoying lots of good food.
When Cheryl Carne and Jane Hochstein each came to me several months ago to tell me they were retiring, I think I was initially in denial. Cheryl and Jane are both fixtures in the Dayton Jewish community. They had been working for the Federation for 19 years and 14 years, respectively. It was difficult to imagine not having them in the building.
On Tuesday, Senior Director of JCRC Marcy Paul and I traveled to Columbus for an Ohio Jewish Communities (OJC) meeting at the Governor’s residence. Over 35 people – including Federation, JCRC, and OJC professionals and lay leaders – came together with Governor Mike DeWine, Director of Faith Based and Community Initiatives Michele Reynolds, and Ohio Department of Public Safety Assistant Director Karen Huey to discuss the surge in antisemitism.
It’s been about a month since my last WHIM. While my intentions are to do a weekly WHIM, this summer has gotten away from me a bit. It’s been very busy here at the Federation. All staff are now back at the office, getting reacquainted with each other and meshing their respective work environments from pre-COVID with some tools utilized while working from home (like Zoom meetings). During all of this, we’ve also faced some significant changes.
Prior to March of 2021, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) put a call out for community members to participate on an Antisemitism Committee. We were fortunate to hear from 12 passionate individuals who were eager to give their time toward this critical issue. The committee would spend the first six months dedicating themselves to examining how antisemitism could be contextualized into the JCRC pillars of EDUCATE-ADVOCATE-ACT.
How do we speak with one Jewish voice? We have varying perspectives on Israel’s path to peace. Our Jewish community is comprised of a wide range of religiosity and practice. We have different ways in which we engage in our Jewish culture. Certainly, our politics vary.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton has always been a fervent supporter of Israel. We believe in Israel’s right to exist as a safe and sovereign state. At this perilous time, it is incumbent on us to stay informed of the current situation in Israel and take action when necessary.