Submitted by Jewish Home of Cincinnati
On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Jewish Home of Cincinnati (JHC) held its Annual meeting at Rockdale Temple. Board Chair Jan Frankel welcomed approximately 60 attendees who gathered to hear updates from the organization and to celebrate Larry Neuman, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Frankel shared how JHC’s updated mission to support Greater Cincinnati Jewish seniors by investing in innovative services and programs reflects the organization’s historic values. “Just as our predecessors were visionaries in their time,” Frankel said, “we understand that the older adult landscape, as well as the make-up and preferences of the Cincinnati Jewish community, have changed. JHC works to meet these new challenges.”
Frankel outlined the many ways Jewish Home of Cincinnati remains supportive of Jewish life and enrichment for residents at Majestic Care of Cedar Village, explaining, “Although JHC does not have a brick and mortar presence since our sale of Cedar Village in 2018, we remain committed to Cedar Village residents. JHC provides funds for Jewish life programming, rabbinic pastoral care, kosher food, holiday rituals, art and music therapists, and many other programs.” Today, Cedar Village is home to approximately 66 Jewishly-identifying residents.
Since JHC transformed into a grantmaking organization in 2021, the organization has expanded its impact outside the walls of Majestic Care of Cedar Village to meet seniors where they are. JHC Executive Director Nina Perlove demonstrated how JHC’s strategic priorities are aligned with those of the community-wide Cincinnati 2030 initiative led by Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Perlove explained that “JHC and Federation have many shared goals in that both seek to build a healthy, active, caring, engaged, connected, and inclusive community. This alignment of values and goals positions our agencies to work toward shared success.”
Treasurer Beth Guttman announced that the agency’s total 2022 grants to organizations and support for Majestic Care of Cedar Village totaled over $600,000.
Tovah Kirschner, Co-Chair of the JHC grant committee, announced the following organizations which received grants in the first half of 2023: Cincinnati Kollel, for “Retirees Lunch & Learn”; Halom House, for “Nutritional Wellness, Education & Outings”; Isaac M. Wise Temple, for “Wise Aging”; Ish, for “Birds of a Feather,” a community program encouraging authentic connections through nature-based Jewish practices; Ohio Living Village Hospice, for “Hospice and Palliative Care: Understanding Healthcare Options”; Shomer Collective, for “What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life”; and Yad Moshe, for “Vihadarta: Shabbos Kosher Meal Delivery for Seniors.”
In addition, Kirschner announced a significant grant awarded to Jewish Family Service for “Adult Respite Care.” This pilot program was created as a result of the findings from Aging 2.0 related to providing increased support for seniors with dementia and their caregivers.
An organizational change was also announced at the Annual Meeting by Bill Freedman, Chair of the Governance committee. He explained, “During the past year, our Governance Committee undertook a review of our organizational structure, which included a parent entity, Jewish Home of Cincinnati, and an affiliate, Cedar Village Foundation. This structure was created prior to the sale of the real estate and operations of Cedar Village, to separate donor dollars intended for charitable purposes from the operations budget. Our analysis revealed that we no longer had any material reason to maintain two separate entities; we could more efficiently execute our new mission and vision if the two organizations were combined.” Freedman continued, “Therefore, the Boards of both organizations unanimously agreed with that recommendation and effective as of December 31, 2022, Cedar Village Foundation was formally merged into JHC.” Following Freedman’s explanation, Frankel thanked the outgoing members of the Cedar Village Board. Special appreciation was extended to Steve Schwartz, as the final Chair of the Board of the Cedar Village Foundation.
Fran Coleman provided the Nominating Committee report and two new board members were installed, Vallie Freeman and Elliott Polsky.
A highlight of the evening was the awarding of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Larry Neuman for his twenty-two years of service to both Jewish Home of Cincinnati and The Cedar Village Foundation. Patti Heldman shared that, “Larry Neuman has been an outstanding leader, first as a former Cedar Village Board of Trustee for nine years then as a CVF Board of Director for twelve years. He currently is an active member of the JHC Investment and Art and Judaica Committees. Over the years, he so kindly and thoughtfully shared keen insights, financial expertise, and legal counsel to support our mission. There is hardly a role that he did not advise or touch upon and we can’t begin to measure the profound impact his service made on the lives of others. Larry doesn’t seem to say no or turn away a request from someone who seeks his help. He is a role model who has challenged us to be the best stewards we can possibly be to our community.”