When I first came to work at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland more than 25 years ago, I was given a daunting task: managing the care and preservation of our community’s Jewish cemeteries. Even though I have lived in Cleveland my entire life, it was not until I began my work at the Federation that I heard others mentioning local cemeteries that I never knew about. I later realized that many of our older Jewish cemeteries depict the history and movement of our community.
You know every Jew in Cleveland, right? Eh, probably not. It might feel like you know everyone, but with Cleveland’s summer parties upon us, you can expand your social circle or even meet the love of your life.
As you all are aware, in the past two days heavy rain has contributed to wide-spread flooding in Houston. Inundating hundreds of homes in high-density Jewish neighborhoods, the situation is a nightmare for thousands of people who have been shut off from municipal services, highways and schools.
In 2004, I moved to Cleveland, clad with a winter coat that more resembled a sleeping bag than any sort of shapely outerwear, nostalgic memories of a sun tan, and the phone number of some distant relatives. I knew no one else.
The following d’var torah was presented at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Board of Trustees Meeting on May 20, 2015. This upcoming Shabbos we read Parsha Bamidbar, the first parsha in the Book of Numbers, Bamidbar.