More Than 200 Attend YLD's Rebranded Night of Unity

Tags: Federation, Israel, Overseas, Young Adults

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Attendees listen to Adam Teitelbaum. CJN photo / Courtney Byrnes


Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News

As more than 200 young Jewish Clevelanders gathered together in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, Adam Teitelbaum of the Israel Action Network and the Jewish Federations of North America, shared hope that out of this crisis will be a new awakening.

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Young Leadership Division rebranded its Big Event for the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs to a Night of Unity to also support the Israel Emergency Campaign. Teitelbaum, executive director of the Israel Action Network and the associate vice president for public affairs at JFNA, was invited to speak Oct. 26 as the event took place at Young Israel of Greater Cleveland in Beachwood.

“This moment of crisis, we are on the verge of a new awakening,” Teitelbaum told attendees. “And according to this book (“The Fourth Turning is Here,” by Neil Howe), guess what? We are the new greatest generation. Us – the millennials that they used to talk about and say all the millennial things about, us who apparently are too lazy to do all sorts of other things, are unmotivated, blah, blah, blah. No, no, no, we’re the new, greatest generation. We get to build this. We get to build the future that we want to inherit.”

He spoke of how the world, especially for the Jewish community, will never go back to the way it was prior to Oct. 7, as that day pulled the rug out from underneath them. But he also spoke of a “Jewish renaissance” as the community overcame the Holocaust, quotas and created the state of Israel.

Teitelbaum also praised President Joe Biden and his administration for supporting Israel, contrasting this with the story of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress shutting out Jewish leaders during the Holocaust.

The event also included remarks from co-chairs Josh Berggrun, Rabbi Doovie Jacoby and Margo Uhrman, as well as YLD chair Jono Nisenboum. As former community schlicha Itay Margalit returned to Israel in September, he sent in a video of his remarks, detailing his account of the Oct. 7 attacks from Haifa and how the community in Israel has come together.

The event also introduced the new schilcha, Ella Caspi, who arrived in Cleveland just a day before the attack on Israel, on Oct. 6.

“I have dreamed of being a shlicha since I was 16 years old and was so excited to come to Cleveland that I arrived on Friday, Oct. 6 instead of staying one more day to attend the music festival in the south of Israel on Oct. 7,” Caspi shared in a statement to the Cleveland Jewish News. “That was the festival targeted by Hamas. I lost three childhood friends in that attack. I cannot put into words the feeling when you see a horrifying image of someone you know being kidnapped or found dead. My homeland, my Israel, is changed forever. But during this darkness, I found a beacon of hope right here in Jewish Cleveland. I’m so deeply appreciative of the love and comfort that has surrounded me in Cleveland since the terrorist attack and in awe of the strong commitment this community has for Israel.”

To donate to the annual campaign or Israel Emergency Campaign, visit jewishcleveland.org.

Learn More: Federation, Israel, Overseas, Young Adults