Early on in my career, I moved to Chicago to work for the Hyatt Corporation. I was excited to be in a new city, with a new job, and to have the opportunity to meet new people.
I met a fellow young Jewish professional who happened to live in my apartment building. Since we both were interested in meeting more Jewish people, we decided to attend a Young Adult Event through the Federation. I remember being so excited to go to the event – I knew it was going to be a blast!
When we arrived at the venue, my friend and I decided to “divide and conquer.” He went one way, and I went another. To my surprise, not one person came up to me at the event. Nobody even stopped to introduce themselves to me. I’ve never felt so unwelcomed as I did that evening.
Relocating to a new city is hard enough without having to add on the worry about not feeling welcome, especially in the Jewish community. That is something that would never happen in Dayton.
Cheryl Carne, our Director of External Relations, works incredibly hard to make those new to Jewish Dayton feel welcome and comfortable. She meets with people in order to get to know them and help connect them with a variety of opportunities in our Jewish community and the community at large.
We find out about new people in the community in a variety of ways. Sometimes we receive notification from the synagogues; other times people will let us know about a new colleague or student in the area. We have had a family member from other states call us and let us know that their loved one is relocating to Dayton. Other times, people will call us directly or attend an event and introduce themselves.
Of course, there are times where we might not know a new person has moved to town. This is where you can help! If you know of anyone who is new to town (and they will let you share their information), call Cheryl at 937-610-1778 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will reach out.
The Federation will hold a Newcomers Event on Sunday, August 18th from 2pm – 4pm at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture & Education (525 Versailles Drive, Dayton 45459). This event is for anyone who is new to Jewish Dayton, or feels like they haven’t connected yet. Local comedian Karen Jaffe will lead the adults in improv games and exercises while the children participate in an activity of their own. Afterwards we will all join together for ice cream. We are looking forward to an afternoon of fun and getting to know each other!
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