When former board chairman Michael Siegal of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland asked Erica Starrfield to lead the organization’s marketing and communications committee in 2011, she initially needed some time to think about it.
We are saddened to inform you that Joyce Garver Keller, retired Director of Ohio Jewish Communities (OJC) who has served our community for more than 25 years, unexpectedly passed away in her sleep last night. Till the very end Joyce was mentor to so many and a tireless advocate on behalf of our community here in Ohio, nationally, in Israel, and around the world.
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 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.