In the course of five hours today, I had three meetings which focused on the challenges of finding time on the community calendar in which an event or program isn’t already taking place. After the meetings, I began to think about how this has been a familiar thread throughout my Jewish communal career.
When it comes to programming, in Florida there are three seasons – fall, winter, and spring (or I as I like to refer to them “hot,” “warm,” and “oh no it’s getting hot again”). The temperature in the summer is so oppressive that it’s almost impossible to do anything but hunker down in air conditioning and wait for “cooler” weather to come.
When I moved to Ohio, I was surprised to find that there are essentially two seasons – fall and spring. Many people spend their summers with family and friends, taking time out for weekend getaways and vacations. Wintertime is a great opportunity for local snow birds to escape the bitter cold and snow for a few months.
By the time you throw in a month worth of holidays, we are left with about six months of available programming time. That may sound like a good chunk of time. However, when multiple organizations are trying to plan events, the calendar fills up rather quickly.
At first, this may appear to be a bit of a problem. However, I choose to view it differently. We are incredibly fortunate to have amazing events in our Dayton Jewish community. And because our community is on the smaller side, many of us attend happenings across the spectrum – including synagogue, temple, Jewish organization and agency activities. This means we see many of the same people on a regular basis. It is through those interactions that friendships develop. Opportunities for collaboration pop up. And our community becomes closer, just like a family.
So while it may be challenging at times to schedule events, I am encouraged that Dayton is full of such passionate and involved people. Of course, we will continue to work on creating a community calendar with less bumps and hurdles. There is always room for improvement.
Even though our window may be small, the six months we do essentially have for programming are amazingly robust. It makes me so proud to live in Dayton, and be a part of The Best Little Jewish Community in the Country.
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