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Moving to a new city can bring a lot of stress with it. Between packing up all our possessions and then unpacking all our possessions, to becoming acclimated to our new environment, to meeting new people – it can be daunting.

One thing that can make it that much more distressing? Holidays. As much as many of us look forward to celebrating the holidays with family and friends, for people new to Dayton, that might not be an option. Perhaps they are unable to travel to spend time with loved ones, or maybe they haven’t had the opportunity to cultivate friendships in Dayton.

As part of our Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton mission statement, we work to create connections among Jews locally, in Israel, and around the world. One example of our efforts can be seen through outreach and our Young Adult Division (YAD).

We receive multiple calls from caring community members offering to host newcomers and YAD members in their homes for Shabbat, Break Fast, and many other holiday gatherings. It ends up being such a warm, positive experience that many young adults develop meaningful relationships in the community and return to their host’s home year after year.

Jewish holidays are by their very nature meant to be celebrated in the company of others. The Mitzvot of breaking bread together, singing, and celebrating can’t be done in isolation. It’s comforting to have a group like YAD to rely on to help make the holidays the joyous and community filled experience they should be.

~ Josie Green
YAD Member

Jewish holidays are by their very nature meant to be celebrated in the company of others. The Mitzvot of breaking bread together, singing, and celebrating can’t be done in isolation. It’s comforting to have a group like YAD to rely on to help make the holidays the joyous and community filled experience they should be.

~ Josie Green
YAD Member

Jewish holidays are by their very nature meant to be celebrated in the company of others. The Mitzvot of breaking bread together, singing, and celebrating can’t be done in isolation. It’s comforting to have a group like YAD to rely on to help make the holidays the joyous and community filled experience they should be.

~ Josie Green
YAD Member

In addition, young adults have come together to begin their own tradition of celebrating Shabbat and the holidays with each other. Mary and Jacob Stephens hosted YAD members for a pot luck Break Fast in 2017 and 2018. One of the attendees, Josie Green, found it to be a wonderful experience.

“Jewish holidays are by their very nature meant to be celebrated in the company of others,” shares Josie. “The Mitzvot of breaking bread together, singing, and celebrating can’t be done in isolation. It’s comforting to have a group like YAD to rely on to help make the holidays the joyous and community filled experience they should be.”

Sydney & David Feibus hosted the YAD Chanukah celebration at their home in 2018. Brandon Schwartz attended with about 15 other people. “Growing up in a reform Jewish household in Los Angeles, the holidays were always a special time for my family,” says Brandon. “I was so grateful to be able to spend Chanukah with my new friends in Dayton and keep the tradition going. Even though I don’t get to attend services because of my busy medical school schedule, I cherish the opportunity to come together and celebrate what it means to be Jewish.”

If you find that you are alone without a place to go for Shabbat or the holidays, please contact me at 937-610-1778 or ccarne@jfgd.net. I will work to find a comfortable place for you to celebrate.

For more information about YAD, please contact Cheryl Carne, Director of External Relations at (937) 610-1778 or ccarne@jfgd.net.

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