One of my first memorable Federation experiences was when I went on a young adult mission to Israel 11 years ago. I’d never been to Israel. I was hesitant to leave my children but something in me said “just go, it will be worth it.” And, it was! Israel was simply beautiful. It moved me.
To me, the last of anything has always meant turning the page to something new. So ending my role as chair of Women’s Philanthropy is not really an end. My Federation journey and our community needs will remain as relevant a passion tomorrow as they are today.
Here in Jerusalem, the conditions are all too familiar with people expressing gratitude for my coming despite the current situation. I have been here many times during terrorist attacks. This time, however, feels a bit different because the terror is coming from seemingly random attackers, unorganized, but deadly just the same. People continue to go about their business but look around more carefully as they walk on the street, changing familiar routes.
The Days of Awe, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, are a time of deep personal reflection. Organizationally I take the same responsibility. Is the Federation living up to its stated mission and values? Are we conducting our business in an ethical manner? How are we helping the community in a time of deeply felt differences – on the political front, on the religious front, on foreign and domestic social policies?
"Today I have courage,” Sima Goldrich told me. She is an ultra-Orthodox (haaredi) woman who is learning about women’s health – her own health – through a program funded by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Campaign for Jewish Needs.
I am Daniel Pearlman and I grew up here, in Solon. From an early age, my identity was shaped by the Jewish Cleveland community. I went to preschool at Jewish Day Nursery, affiliated with Bellefaire, a Federation partner. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew was that I loved the environment around me. Even today, I am still close with some of my preschool friends.