Moving Forward Together

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Next Wednesday evening, we will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim which tells the miraculous story of the Jews of Persia being saved from massacre. As the Book of Esther is read, we are reminded that Queen Esther comes to the realization that she was there in that moment in time for a reason. She had to act – in order for the community to be saved.

We find ourselves again in such a time.

The war in Ukraine surges forward, leaving a tragic humanitarian crisis in its wake. Jew hatred and antisemitism continues to metastasize, fueled by conspiracy theories and anti-Israel rhetoric. The sustained stress as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic has created new and significant mental health concerns, especially among our teens.

Yet – thanks to the resolve and resiliency of our special Jewish Cleveland community – we move forward together as we always do.

This week our Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund topped $2 million! Thanks to a matching grant of $1 million from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, we are able to provide meaningful support to our partners at the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) who are providing emergency shelter, food, transportation and medication, evacuating people from war zones, assisting people in making Aliyah (to Israel) and so much more.

For those of you who have already contributed to the fund, thank you. If you’d like to make a donation, you may do so here. 100% of your gift will be used to address the escalating needs in the region.

Similarly, this week Jewish Cleveland became one of the first communities in North America to receive advanced security training from the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora. With the assistance of our security provider – JFC Security, LLC – more than 300 Jewish Clevelanders received the Ministry’s specialized C.A.R.E. (Community Awareness and Resilience Education) training designed to further heighten security preparedness throughout our community.

Next week, we will travel to the Ukraine/Poland border to assure the refugees that Jewish Cleveland is with them – now and always. We look forward to sharing with you more about what we see and hear on this trip.

Until then, may this and every Shabbat bring some much-needed peace and quiet to our world.

J. David Heller
Board Chair

Erika B. Rudin-Luria

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