If it were possible to tell this story without referencing Miriam Cohen, that would likely please her. It’s not that Miriam is overly modest; it’s that the story she wants to share with the world is about Dorothy Fine Paris and Isidore Paris—her loving and devoted parents. Still, there are compelling reasons to include Miriam in this tale. First, as Dorothy and Isidore’s daughter, she is an important part of their story. Second, she is the storyteller here, the authoritative source.
Sadie was happily making her seventh-birthday party plans with her family when a compassionate little switch flipped in her mind. Yes, birthday invitations had already been sent out a few weeks prior. And, yes, parental expectations were solidifying around fun ideas that were age-appropriate, child-focused, and celebratory. But that didn’t stop Sadie from abruptly turning to her parents and announcing with resolve, “I don't need any birthday presents. I need to do a mitzvah!"
Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Cincinnati has recently convened the Create Your Jewish Legacy (CYJL) committee to encourage community members to talk with their families about a legacy commitment to JFS. CYJL is a nationwide program initiated in 2014 by the Grinspoon Foundation with the goal of building endowments that will sustain Jewish organizations locally, and secure a reliable financial future for Jewish communities across the country.
“We’re not alone, you know?” Gennady Khaskelis says thoughtfully over FaceTime on a recent, dreary February morning. The conversation, however, is the opposite of dreary—he and his wife Inna are a charming, welcoming, and fascinating couple. While very much their own, their story is also the story of immigrant Jews coming to Cincinnati as they have for two centuries, and also an American success story.
“Young people can inspire others, just like adults can. They have a ton of power. And I think sometimes we forget how much good a single dollar can do—or a single can of soup.”
Chrissie Blatt couldn’t help but beam during a recent interview about her daughter Ella’s bat mitzvah project for Jewish Family Service: a canned soup drive to support Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry at the Barbash Family Vital Support Center.
“I have a great appreciation for what I consider an immutable fact: people who can feed themselves have a greater sense of independence,” stated Ben Kaufman.
Ben is the master gardener of the community garden of the Barbash Family Vital Support Center, located on the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion campus. The garden helps provide hundreds of people in our community access to fresh vegetables through the Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and unsettling for many people, but it has been particularly challenging for those already suffering from food insecurity. Recently, dozens of determined Jewish Family Service (JFS) volunteers and staff spent time preparing for and participating in the in the 22nd annual Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery Project of Jewish Family Service. Perhaps inspired by a desire to fulfill a mitzvah (commandment), the dedicated individuals helping with this
Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry will remain open during this time of social distancing, so everyone who needs groceries can get them.
And they are staying safe: “We really want to reassure the community that we are working hard to ensure the safety of our professionals and volunteers,” said Liz Vogel, CEO at Jewish Family Service, which is funded by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
The Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashanah commenced at sundown on September 29, and while many households across Cincinnati will celebrate by attending services and partaking in family dinners, too many members of the Jewish community won’t have the means to enjoy a traditional, hot meal. Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center has long been committed to providing many of the items typically enjoyed during the holidays. Pam Barbash and her family generously purchased and...