Community Even More Important in Uncertain Times

Marc Merklin
Annual Campaign Chair

I recently had a disturbing discussion with my sister who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There are not many Jews in her area. Recently, my sister said, some Jews who celebrated Hanukkah felt uncomfortable in displaying a menorah in their window. Based on increasing levels of anti-Semitic activity in their community, they felt reluctant to indicate publicly that they were Jewish.

You may have read that a family in the southwest United States recently experienced the vandalism of menorah on their front lawn; it was twisted into the shape of swastika.  In the last few weeks, Jewish community centers from Florida up the east coast to New York received bomb threats.  Beyond our own country, Jews in Europe and particularly in France feel the pressure of right-wing nationalist movements and anti-Semitic acts and conduct.
In turbulent times, the best comfort we have is a cohesive, warm and caring Jewish community of our own.  The importance of maintaining our community and its Jewish life cannot be exaggerated or in any way minimized. However, absent your support and the support of our contributors in our annual campaign, much of what we try to accomplish to enhance Jewish life in Akron would be more difficult— if not virtually impossible. 

Whether it is maintaining our Jewish institutions such as the Shaw Jewish Community Center, The Lippman Day School or Jewish Family Service, or supporting Jewish programming at our synagogues, the absence of campaign dollars would jeopardize these organizations and the programs and services they provide.  
Further, our Jewish Community Relations Committee continues the ever-important task of building bridges with the broader Akron community, especially the interfaith community.

To date, our annual campaign is on track for a successful year, but being in the home stretch means that we must get across the starting line and hear from our donors who have not yet made a commitment for 2017.  If you have not yet made your gift, I would urge you to contact me in my role as campaign chair or anyone at the Jewish Community Board of Akron, and we will be happy to take down your pledge and count your support for our community.  

f you have already made your pledge, we thank you and we appreciate your support of our efforts to continue to have a cohesive, engaged and robust Jewish community here in Akron.



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