Our recent Population Study showed that 19% of Cleveland Jewish households live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Based on this research, the Federation founded a Task Force on Financial Distress, chaired by Bruce Goodman. Their recommendation: Establish a Chesed Center. Chesed, for kindness.
The boxes of matzah always seem to appear first on the kitchen shelf. Then the jars of gefilte fish and the new bottle of horseradish show up. Maybe a carton of fruit flavored jelly candy, never seen at other times of the year, finds a place in the cupboard. These are the real first signs of spring, the Passover supplies, as meaningful to me as the first crocuses that push up in the garden.
The Cleveland Museum of Art had an additional 13 docents this weekend. On April 17, the eighth grade class of Mandel JDS was tasked with presenting the work of a master painter to an audience filled with parents, siblings, and community members.
The city of Houston and nine surrounding counties were hit this week with extensive flooding, including areas where the Jewish community is concentrated. One to two feet of rain fell in a very short time, completely overwhelming bayous and streams in the area and rain is continuing to fall. It is expected that the damage will surpass the range and severity of last year’s Memorial Day weekend flood.
Thank you to Senator Rob Portman for ensuring that the Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill, passed today by the Senate, includes provisions to assist nonprofits with the costs of retrofitting their facilities to become more energy efficient. Creating energy efficiencies is vital to ensuring that we maximize the use of philanthropic dollars to best serve the most vulnerable populations and to maintain healthy and vibrant communities.
On Sunday, April 10th, the 2015-2016 Saltzman Youth Panel had its last session. Although a meeting of reflection, from the moment we cracked open the first box of pizza to the final minutes sharing our take-aways, the panel was collectively passionate, driving to achieve a common goal. Throughout the meeting, I was constantly reminded of the high quality of leadership on the Saltzman Youth Panel. With complete confidence I can say I learned something new every time a fellow panelist spoke. This was exciting, as well as something that speaks volumes about who and what make up the Saltzman Youth Panel.
After a two-month celebration, Gross Schechter students concluded the Sveta Grinberg Read for Life program. This special program, kindly sponsored by Ida and Mikhail Grinberg in memory of their daughter, Sveta, took our students around the world through literature, tikkun olam (community service) and community programs. During this program, our students read 1,287 books and donated 128 books to the Head Start program.