May 3 — “After a search for someone to continue to serve as an inspiration to our youth, the Mercaz Board is excited to present Phyllis Binik-Thomas as our next Mercaz Director. We are so fortunate that Phyllis has accepted the position; she is a strong Jewish educator and administrator,” stated Yaffa Rubin, the Mercaz board chairperson.
Can understanding each other’s language and culture help Jews and Arabs in Israel find common ground? At the upcoming Israel Up to the Minute, representatives from the Hagar School, a Jewish-Arab school in Israel’s Negev, will speak about how they’re addressing that question. The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. at the Mayerson JCC.
Adath Israel Congregation’s Youth celebrated Passover with a variety of seders. Our youngest children in kindergarten through second grade had a very creative look at the Passover Seder led by Kathy Wise. Kathy showed up with her interactive Seder plate puppets. The students loved learning about the items on the Seder plate through her retelling of the Passover story.
May 10 — In May 2011, The Society for Classical Reform Judaism held its first Institute at Cincinnati’s Hebrew Union College. The Society’s inauguration of our annual program at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College, held in March 2012, represented a major symbolic milestone, both for our endeavors, and arguably, for the history of Reform Judaism.
Jackie Sachs dedicated her life to helping and educating young children at the JCC Early Childhood School (ECS). After her passing a little over a year ago, the Mayerson JCC dedicated a special area of the ECS as Jackie’s Corner. Now, the JCC is establishing the new Helping Hands fund in memory of her. This fund will support the educational experience for children at the JCC ECS.
The community is invited to attend Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah’s final Coffee Talk/Decaf Café of the season on Monday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Stephanie Gilinsky. Judge Heather Stein Russell will be the featured speaker on “Hadassah and Hamilton County: Healing, Helping and Empowering Women.” She will show how the Hamilton County criminal justice system and Hadassah share a similar history in recognizing treatment issues unique to women and how these two institutions have developed programs to help women locally, nationally and in Israel.
Over 60 women from the Women of Reform Judaism Central District, representing 20 Reform Congregation affiliates from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee, gathered in Cincinnati April 27-29 to conduct business and participate in a program called “Your Heritage—Your Community.”
The weekend began Friday night at Rockdale Temple with an amazing Rock Shabbat led by Rabbi Sissy Coran and a group of outstanding musicians, followed by a beautiful Shabbat dinner.
May 17 — “Let My People Know,” a dynamic afternoon of Jewish learning, explores modern day issues through the prism of Judaism at the Mayerson JCC on Sunday, May 20. The afternoon begins at 1 p.m. and is packed with engaging workshops, acclaimed speakers and lively conversation. Dr. Hal M. Lewis, nationally celebrated educator, author and speaker, will deliver the keynote address, “What’s Trending for Today’s Jews?”
On Sunday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m, B’nai B’rith will hold their annual Memorial Service at the Robert S. Kraft Memorial Garden in the Covedale Cemetery. This Memorial Service is held in memory of the servicemen of the Jewish faith from the Greater Cincinnati area, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country while serving overseas in the U.S. Armed Forces.
May 24 — The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati announced two new significant investments in the Cincinnati Jewish community: a transformative five-year, $5.225 million grant that will enable Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) to enhance its rabbinical student curriculum and to focus more of its resources on serving the Cincinnati Jewish community; and a 10-year, $3.2 million grant to Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati (JFS), which, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and generous support from individual donors, is intended to secure a $10 million total community investment to expand and sustain JFS’s food pantry and case management center over the next decade.
Rockwern Academy, Cincinnati’s Community Jewish Day School, has announced that Dr. David Finell of Colorado has accepted the position of Head of School. Dr. Finell has over 15 years of experience leading Jewish religious and day schools. He holds an Honorary Doctorate and a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College and a Master of Science in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Southern California.
At Shabbat services on Saturday, June 2, Northern Hills Synagogue – Congregation B’nai Avraham will bid a fond farewell to Tracy Weisberger and her family, who are moving to Israel. For the past six years, Tracy has served as Northern Hills’ director of education and programming.
The Abrom and Sarah Dombar Award for Excellence in Mercaz Studies is given during our Confirmation service to the Adath Israel Congregation graduating senior who best exemplifies the three criteria of this award: attendance, attitude and enthusiastic participation in our high school program. This year we have decided that two students met the criteria for this award: Angela Reiser and Sarah Wasneiwski.
May 31 — The American Israelite website has added an Infolive.tv feature on its homepage. On the top left side of the page, American Israelite readers can now view the latest television news direct from Jerusalem through one of the largest online video news operations in Israel. The news videos are regularly updated and are the first information network to be broadcast in five different languages— French, English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.
Camp at the J has a reputation for offering incredible fun and rich learning experiences with a professional, caring staff. What you may not know is Camp at the J at the Mayerson JCC is one of only eight day camps in Cincinnati accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA), and can now boast that “We’ve been picked!”
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, June 12, at 7 p.m., at the Mayerson JCC. The keynote speaker will be Professor Ruth R. Wisse, author of Jews and Power.
North Cincy United Synagogue Youth, a joint effort of Northern Hills Synagogue and Congregation Ohav Shalom, invites the entire community to its annual Noodle Night on Sunday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m. The evening will feature an Italian dinner prepared by the USY teens, with pasta choices, garden salad, and dessert, followed by a talent show. The event will be held at Northern Hills Synagogue.
June 7 — To tackle the growing needs of the most vulnerable members of our Jewish community, Jewish Family Service is transforming its Food Pantry into the Barbash Family Vital Support Center on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Northern Hills Synagogue- Congregation B’nai Avraham is pleased to announce the selection of Maksim Shilkrot as its new Director of Education and Programming.
On June 16, Congregation B’nai Tzedek will honor three of its senior members in a celebration of a second life bar mitzvah, a modern tradition based on the Psalm 90 reference to the life of a human as being 70 years. This modern tradition calculates that after 70 we begin living our second life and therefore celebrate our second bar mitzvah 13 years later when attaining 83 years of age. The honorees are Jack Kwiatek, Robert Lemlich and Aaron Rubinstein.
June 14 — The Mayerson JCC Senior Center, the only senior center in Cincinnati to achieve national accreditation by the National Institute of Senior Centers, will celebrate this landmark accomplishment by hosting an Accreditation Celebration luncheon on Thursday, June 21.
On Sunday, June 3, Blair Tieger, 17, joined 30 teens from across North America and the UK in Washington, D.C., for the second annual “Human Rights and Genocide Summit” (HRGS) focused on exploring the Jewish values related to standing up for populations in need. The HRGS, sponsored by the BBYO Panim Institute, asks participants to answer the following questions: What is Genocide? Where are Human Rights being challenged? What’s the Jewish response to genocide? And, what can I do?
June 21 — On June 20, eight 14-year-old scouts from Israel (three boys and five girls) will arrive in Cincinnati, taking part in an exchange program facilitated by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. The scouts will attend two one-week sessions at Camp Friedlander, an overnight Boy Scout camp.
Sometimes we forget that not everyone is as fortunate as we are, has a home like ours, or has a loving family that surrounds them. There are those in our midst who do not possess these luxuries. One such group is the boys that reside at the Lighthouse Youth Services – Youth Development Center (LYS-YDC). The LYS-YDC is a therapeutic community-based residential program for teenage boys who suffer from emotional or behavioral disorders or who have been unsuccessful in other out of home placements.
June 28 — Sylvan Reisenfeld, age 78, passed away on June 10, 2012—the 20th day of Sivan, 5772. Mr. Reisenfeld was the founding partner of Reisenfeld & Associates in 1960, a general practice with special emphasis on creditors’ rights representation.
Commenting on his Dad’s 52 years of practicing law, his son, Brad Reisenfeld said, “Dad was a shining example of the ultimate gentleman and professional. He always went about the practice of law with class, humility, dignity and empathy for his fellow man.”
We are pleased to announce that Jewish Cemeteries of Cincinnati (JCGC) has reached a significant milestone. When JCGC was formed in 2008, each of the 22 contributing cemetery owners was given a limited option at the end of three years to withdraw from JCGC, if certain financial tests to assure the long-term viability of the merged organization were not met. JCGC’s Finance Committee reported to the contributing cemetery owners earlier this year that the tests had been met.
Mitch Cohen was nominated by Mercaz Conservative Hebrew High School and Adath Israel Congregation for the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for excellence in Jewish education this past school year.
July 5 — Café Chabad is back for the summer! Café Chabad has made a name for itself in Cincinnati for providing Jewish adults with social events that feature delicious food, great entertainment and good company. Held several times throughout the year, these evenings are a wonderful time to meet up with old and new friends in the Jewish community.
On July 1, some exciting changes will happen at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) that will allow the organization to better focus its resources on helping members of the Jewish community move out of unemployment and achieve their career goals.
July 12 — The Olympics of choral music continued to rock the city of Cincinnati, specifically the Mayerson JCC, on July 9, as part of the 7th World Choir Games.
The concert—one of 58 Friendship Concerts planned for the Greater Cincinnati area—featured three choral ensembles: Poland’s Vox Juventutis Choir—an adult mixed choir from the State School of Higher Professional Education; the Prime Note Ensemble—an acappella choir composed of Filipino expatriates from Southern California; and Israel’s Ankor Choir—a group of 25 female students of The Jerusalem Academy High School of Music and Dance.
The Sisterhood of Northern Hills Synagogue Congregation B’nai Avraham is excited about its new project to collect needed items for the Ronald McDonald House at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The first shipment was delivered by Sisterhood volunteers in May.
Hadassah Hospital pediatric surgeon Dr. Yaron Armon is currently concluding a one-year fellowship, training with Dr. Marc Levitt. He will return to Jerusalem next month to use the expertise gained in Cincinnati to increase the capability of performing complex colorectal surgery in Israel. Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah held a brunch in honor of Dr. Armon and Dr. Levitt on June 24, at the home of Nina and Eddie Paul.
July 19 — This fall, our community will have an opportunity to experience the 2,000-year old Dead Sea Scrolls in many different ways, including a spectacular five-month exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center for which The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati will be the Presenting Sponsor. “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times” will open on November 16, and last through mid-April at the Museum Center.
Jewish Family Service has been approved by the State of Ohio as one of only a handful of sites in the Tri-state area to provide Medicare counseling and information; and the only Jewish communal site in Southwestern Ohio. The designation comes from the Ohio Department of Insurance after four Jewish Family Service Aging specialists recently completed certification training by the state’s Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP).
Over the past 22 years, Chabad Hebrew School has become known as the Hebrew School where children don’t want to miss a day. It is known as a program that instills Jewish pride and creates spiritual connections that last a lifetime.
July 26 — David Fisher, a business leader in Cincinnati, Ohio and a lay leader in local and national Jewish nonprofit organizations, was named as president of the Birthright Israel Foundation, which has sent over 300,000 young Jewish adults on free educational trips to Israel since 2000.
On July 19, 15 members of the Reform Movement’s American Leadership met with Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff to discuss important domestic issues and American-Israeli relations that expressed key Reform Jewish values. The meeting took place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House West Wing, and was an opportunity for Mr. Lew, also Jewish, to discern the policy concerns and hopes of the Reform movement, passing along those concerns to relevant staff members within the Administration. Similar meetings had also occurred in the White House between Mr. Lew and Conservative movement leadership, as well as Orthodox movement leadership.
Cincinnati has been awarded spots on a special Men’s Israel Mission this coming November. Jerusalem-based Aish Hatorah is the mission provider and on the local front, the Cincinnati Community Kollel is coordinating the mission.
August 2 — With the successful close of its 2012 Community Campaign ($6.3 million raised, exceeding the $6 million goal), the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati is shifting gears to the process of distributing the community’s dollars, ensuring they go where they’re needed most.
The Cedar Village Golf Classic has become famous for its kosher brisket dinner. According to Sally Korkin, executive director, Cedar Village Foundation, “Our dinner crowd keeps growing—we even have non-golfers who come out just for the brisket.”
Every year, Stephanie Gilinsky and Lesley Loon, two long-time golf committee members, make the brisket several weeks before the outing to ensure maximum flavor and tenderness. The brisket has become such a tradition the two women are fondly known as the “Brisket Babes.”
August 9 — Ashley Andrews, 17, was honored by Jewish Family Service Bigs & Littles as the recipient of the Betty R. Goldberg Community Service Award. This award, which included a $1,000 check, was established in honor of the many years of service that Betty gave to the organization and recognizes a Little who helps others by performing good deeds and acts of kindness. Steve Halper, a Friend of Bigs & Littles, presented the award at the Jewish Family Service annual meeting on July 19.
Rockdale Temple kicks off the school year and the month of Elul with a special adult education series entitled “Tis the Season, to Choose Life!” In preparation for the High Holy Days, a three- session course will be taught on the themes of the season.
During a recent visit to three synagogues (two Reform, one Orthodox) on eastern Long Island, Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D.—president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Reform movement’s seminary—sat down with JNS to discuss new developments in Jewish education and institutional life.
August 16 — Those close to Suellen Chesley Feck knew that she worked tirelessly as a volunteer for many local charities throughout Cincinnati. Her family knew her as a mother and grandmother with boundless energy and a zest for life. With her generosity of spirit and creative flair, everyone around Mrs. Feck benefited from her time and efforts.
Mrs. Feck passed away on July 31, 2012—the 12th day of Av, 5772—at the age of 74.
The Mayerson JCC and The Mayerson Foundation are pleased to announce the formation of a new strategic partnership designed to expand JCC teen programming with the goal of connecting Jewish teens with their peers through recreational, social and personal growth experiences. Management and operations of JCC teen activities will fall under the guidance of The Mayerson Foundation, and will be staffed by Matt Steinberg, the JCC teen coordinator.
In recognition of excellence and an ongoing commitment to children, the JCC Early Childhood School has received a Three-Star Step Up To Quality Award from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Bureau of Child Care and Development, the state agency responsible for licensing and promoting high standards among Ohio’s early care and education programs. To celebrate this major achievement, the Mayerson JCC is holding a 3-Star Celebration on Thursday, Aug. 23.
August 23 — More than 15 organizations will get a helping hand from Adath Israel’s upcoming Mitzvah Day. Volunteers can fight hunger, pack school supplies for needy children, or choose a project closer to their hearts on Aug. 26.
Yitzhak Navon, the fifth president of Israel and honorary president of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, recently sent a letter addressed to the people of the Cincinnati Jewish community, expressing thanks for the support and hospitality for the Academy’s Ankor Choir, who had visited Cincinnati in July as part of the 2012 World Choir Games.
August, 30 — Just two weeks ago Lainey Paul, daughter of Nina and Eddie Paul, made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel. Starting next week, Lainey will begin writing a blog about her exciting adventures as she enters the Israeli army and begins her new life. It will be posted and updated weekly on The American Israelite’s website. The following is an introduction to Lainey and her upcoming blog.
Golf Manor Synagogue is proud to sponsor the only Jewish-themed Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops in Cincinnati.
Boys in grades 1-5 may become members of Cub Pack #613 under the leadership of our programming director and cubmaster, Phil Kahn, and girls in grades 1-7 may become members of Brownie Troop #613 under the leadership of program director Batya Kahn.
Financial Times Chicago and Midwest bureau chief Hal Weitzman will speak about his book Latin Lessons: How the U.S. “Lost” Latin America at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. His visit is co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Foreign Policy Leadership Group, and Xavier’s Brueggeman Center for Dialogue. The event is free and open to the public.
September, 6 — Edward Rothenberg, age 77, passed away unexpectedly on May 28, 2012—the 7th day of Sivan, 5772. Born in Chicago, Ill., on December 8, 1934, he was the youngest child of the late Benjamin and Bertha (nee Ellison) Rothenberg.
The Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah will hold its Opening Meeting/Installation Luncheon on Monday, Sept. 10 at 11:30 a.m. at Carrabba’s Italian Grill. All are invited to attend as we install our new president, Bonnie Juran Ullner and other new board members, as well as thank out-going co-presidents Sharon Casper and Bobbi Handwerger. Chef and cookbook author Sheilah Kaufman will present a delightful program about the history of the Jews and chocolate, including a chocolate tasting.
Rabbi Marshal Klaven, director of Rabbinic Services for the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life headquartered in Jackson, Miss., will return to the Valley Temple bimah this weekend.