First of all, I would like to thank you for selecting me as your next JCBA Board Chair. I have been active in Akron’s Jewish causes for nearly 25-years and I know well, many of those who have served before me. I have some very large shoes to fill. As I write these remarks, we are celebrating the Jewish Holidays and looking forward to another Fall in Northeast Ohio.
That, of course, means we are looking at kicking off our Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs in Akron. Our consolidated campaign will raise funds to support our treasured Jewish Agencies. The Shaw JCC. The Lippman School. Jewish Family Services. The Ohio Jewish Communities. Kent State (and University of Akron) Hillel. Plus, our campaign also provides funds to support projects in Israel.
This is a good time to reflect on the good work of our recipient agencies and programs that contribute to the community’s vitality, and help people locally, nationally and worldwide -- wherever Jews are in need. I am very proud that, in spite of our small size, our community is mighty. We have always “hit above our weight” when we have been called upon to step up and contribute to this important cause.
So, I encourage you to help, when you get the call this year. Please know that it has never been more important than it is right now.
As you may know, the community is currently doing a search for our next JCBA President. Rob Minster and Stephanie York are co-chairing that project and are bringing a thoughtful approach to the work. I have high expectations for them and look forward to participating in the search. In the interim, our previous President/CEO David Koch has agreed to step in and help us as a senior management consultant.
COVID continues to affect us. Over the past year, we have done whatever has been needed to keep our facilities available to as many people as possible. As soon as the Governor allowed, we opened our doors…and we remained open. Programs at 750 White Pond have continued. We have been there for our families, our working parents, our seniors and those who relied on our fitness and wellness programs, all powered by you.
You made that happen, and I thank you for that. I am looking forward, with everyone’s help, to once again providing needed support to our Jewish community. Together we will make a difference.