Caring for Jews Around the World

Tags: Overseas, Federation

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Debbie Chessin (right), Education Director at Beth Israel-The West Temple, meets with Orit Svetlana Zuaretz, Head Representative in St. Petersburg and North West Russia for the Jewish Agency for Israel.

by Debbie Chessin, Education Director
Beth Israel-The West Temple

Judaism teaches us that all Jews are responsible for one another – Kol Yisrael Aravim Zeh La Zeh. This concept is the basis of the notion that we must take action in order to care for Jews in communities around the world.

This idea is brought to life by the Overseas Connections Committee (OCC) through the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. The OCC is able to develop innovative programming that builds relationships, and helps support strong Jewish communities around the world.

Last week, the OCC sponsored the Capacity Builders Mission, which brought 21 top level professional from St. Petersburg Russia to participate in an intense learning and partnership program. The goal was to offer these talented individuals a chance to train and share ideas about Jewish communal, educational, cultural and recreational services with leaders in the greater Cleveland Jewish community.

Beth Israel- The West Temple, was honored to host Orit Zuaretz, Representative of the Jewish Agency for Israel in St. Petersburg; Alla Mitelman, Representative of the only Reform Congregation in St. Petersberg, and Anna Broverman Jewish Agency for Israel, St. Petersburg.

During the morning, these women, along with Rabbi Enid Lader, Debbie Chessin (Education Director) and Matt Barratt (Congregational President), had the chance to share Beth Israel-The West Temple'’s unique history with the Cleveland Council on Soviet Anti-Semitism, and were able to exchange ideas about our collective achievements and challenges within both our communities and religious institutions.

Most importantly, our meeting afforded us a real opportunity to forge new friendships with members of the Jewish community in St. Petersburg and Beth Israel-The West Temple. It is our hope that our meeting last week is only the beginning of a long lasting partnership together.

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