On a beautiful day in February 2017, I found myself standing alongside 40 Partnership2Gether (P2G) staff and volunteers in a vacant lot across from the Mediterranean Sea. We gathered at what was to become home to the Partnership Center in Matte Asher. The dilapidated remnants of what used to be a building rested amongst overgrowth and debris. It was inspiring to imagine a state of the art facility rising out of such humble beginnings.

As we stood in the lot, the head of the group, Bracha Zuriel, took a moment to recognize several special donors for the yet to be completed building. It was no surprise to me when Dayton’s P2G Chairs Dave London and Irvin Moscowitz were called to the front of the group to be honored for their lead donations in support of this important project.

Dave and Irv fervently spoke about their commitment to P2G and of their love of Israel. As I watched the scene unfold I vowed to myself to learn more about Dave and Irv, and their passion for volunteering, P2G and Israel.

Dave started volunteering because of his parents. It’s a value they instilled in him early on that he finds deeply fulfilling. “I find that the work I’ve been doing is extremely rewarding in that I feel like I’m a part of something that is doing good for others, and I get to work with a lot of truly great people,” says Dave.

I find that the work I’ve been doing is extremely rewarding in that I feel like I’m a part of something that is doing good for others, and I get to work with a lot of truly great people.

~ Dave London
Dayton P2G Chair

I find that the work I’ve been doing is extremely rewarding in that I feel like I’m a part of something that is doing good for others, and I get to work with a lot of truly great people.

~ Dave London
Dayton P2G Chair

I find that the work I’ve been doing is extremely rewarding in that I feel like I’m a part of something that is doing good for others, and I get to work with a lot of truly great people.

~ Dave London
Dayton P2G Chair

So why volunteer with Partnership? Quite simply, it was because he was asked. “I knew nothing about P2G,” says Dave. “Cathy Gardner invited me to meet with her and told me enough to get me interested. At that point, I had been to Israel and I was very interested in the opportunity to build a deep, personal connection with both the people and the country.”

One of Dave’s fondest memories is of his first P2G trip to Israel. “My first trip to Israel in support of P2G was just four years ago. I really had little knowledge of what my role was or why I was there. I was checking in to the hotel in Nahariya and a woman heard me speaking English and figured I was there for the P2G meeting,” shares Dave. That woman was Michelle Korin, who is a volunteer from Indianapolis and the current chair of Partnership2Gether. Michelle and another member of the group were going to visit a friend in a Druze village and invited Dave to join them.

“In addition to not knowing much about P2G, I knew nothing about the Druze. It sounded like an interesting opportunity so I went along,” Dave says. “During the drive out and back, I learned more about P2G, but it was during the visit to the Druze home that I learned so much about a different culture and, more importantly, about the rewarding feeling that comes with making these new connections.”
Dave tells others that are considering volunteering to find something that ignites their passion. “There are so many organizations that have worthwhile missions and are dependent on the support of volunteers. You can find plenty of opportunities within the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton or other parts of the Dayton Jewish community, as well as other opportunities throughout the community.”

Irv Moscowitz shares many of Dave’s sentiments about volunteering and P2G. Irv began volunteering with Jewish Family Services in 1979, however, it was a call from Peter Wells, past Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton CEO, that set him on a 20+ year involvement with P2G.

“Peter Wells called me one day and asked if I wanted to go to the Western Galilee in Israel because there was a new project going on called Partnership 2000,” says Irv. “I didn’t really know exactly where the Western Galilee was but I just said ‘okay’ and went. It was one of my better decisions.” Since that trip, Irv has been a faithful volunteer with P2G.

One of the things Irv finds so rewarding is to see programs come to fruition that were born from a basic idea. “Volunteering with P2G is completely different from any other group I’ve been involved with,” says Irv. “We started over 20 years ago, not knowing anything for sure about what we were going to be doing. We had some idea, but nothing concrete. We shaped P2G into what it is today by having a lot of people hands on, interested and caring enough to do a lot of innovative work, and it shows.” Irv continues, “It is very exciting for me to know that I was involved with something from the beginning and it has turned into the far reaching program it is today.”

In reflecting on his many years of volunteering, Irv has one piece of advice. “There are so many opportunities out there to plug in, find something that interests you, or you think you might find interesting, and do it. When you find the right fit, you’ll get more from it than you give.”

Dayton belongs to one of 46 partnerships established by the Jewish Agency for Israel that connects communities in Israel with other communities around the world. For Dayton, our partnership includes 14 US cities, Budapest and the Western Galilee. Our consortium has long been considered the most productive and successful partnership supporting crucial links between communities in Israel and
the diaspora through cultural, academic and medical exchanges.

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