Jewish Federation Confronts Anti-Semitism

By Elise Skolnick
Communications & Marketing Director Youngstown Area Jewish Federation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Every year, the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation and its agencies work to sustain and enrich the quality of life for the Jewish people regionally, in Israel and worldwide, as well as the general community. The federation is guided by the values of tzedakah (righteousness), klal Yisrael (the responsibility of each Jew for another), dor l’dor (the continuity of the Jewish people), and tikkun olam (repairing the world). 

The federation is the umbrella organization for several agencies: Senior Living by Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, which includes Heritage Manor Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation, Levy Gardens Assisted Living, and Adult Day Services; Jewish Community Center, Jewish Community Relations Council; and Jewish Family & Community Services.

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Lipkin has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, 2024. Lisa Long, financial resource development director, will replace him.

 In 2023, the federation expanded its services to help those it serves.

Levy Gardens upgraded apartments with new kitchen cabinetry and countertops. It acquired a new vehicle for shopping trips and a large patio area was built. The rehabilitation addition to Heritage Manor allows tenants to receive more in-depth therapy and more clients to receive adult day care.

Jewish Family & Community Services partnered with MYCAP of Youngstown, Youngstown State University honor students, and the JCC to assist area residents with food drive-throughs.

Over $69,000 of food was distributed to families and individuals of all ages. JFCS also distributed over $25,000 worth of Save-A-Lot food vouchers, through the Emergency Food & Shelter Program of Mahoning County.

JMeals, a home delivered meal program that received funding through the Trumbull County Senior Levy, produced 70,000 meals in 2023.

Also in 2023, the JCC renovated its locker rooms with upgrades to showers, saunas and whirlpools. Lockers were added as well as bottle-fill style water fountains.

In October, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Congregation Ohev Beth Sholom and Temple El Emeth honored the memories of the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting five years ago where 11 people were murdered as they worshipped. As part of its anti-hate and educational initiatives, JCRC hosted Holocaust survivor Art Gelbart, who shared his story with 350 local students.  

On Oct. 7, when Hamas attacked Israel, the federation launched an Israel Crisis fundraising campaign. Staff and members of the Jewish and general communities joined the March for Israel at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The federation subsequently hosted Yuval Donio-Gideon, consul for public diplomacy at the Israeli Consulate in New York, who updated the community about the war against Hamas terrorists. Vigils were held and area businesses joined the JCC in lighting their buildings blue in solidarity.

Antisemitism is on the rise, and the federation works daily to combat it.

Pictured at top: Students help package JMeals for distribution. From left are Madeline Long, Cameron Silverman, Addison Silverman and Antonio McNutt.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.