Summer's Winding Down

A Message from Andy Lipkin, Federation Executive Vice-President

It’s hard to believe we’ve come to the end of July. Summer is winding down, whether we like it or not. My article this month recaps many of the programs held Federation-wide over the past month and highlights some upcoming events.  

The Jewish Community Center’s Suzi Solomon Golf Classic and Impact Dinner, held in June, and the 2nd Annual Dash and Splash, held July 21, are over for another year. Both were very successful – and fun!  

We had a beautiful, dry day among many rainy ones for the Golf Classic, and we raised a record amount of money. I also really enjoyed the Dash and Splash. I wasn’t able to participate in the first Dash because I was at a conference in Israel. This year, I walked the distance between the JCC and the Logan Campus with Neil Schor. Both of us are bouncing back from our recent surgeries – we made it to the finish line in an hour and five minutes! This was a great event to bring the community together for a day of fun. I want to thank our staff and volunteers who helped make both of these events happen.

Heritage Manor hosted its 2nd annual car show, also in June, complete with an Elvis impersonator and milkshakes. Heritage Manor also recently held a program about benefits available to wartime veterans. This program brought in about 40 members of the greater community, many of whom have never walked through Heritage Manor’s door. This was a great opportunity for them to see what we offer.

The JCC hosted a mamanet tournament at YSU in late June – the first of its kind in the area. Teams from Youngstown, Israel, Columbus, and Pittsburgh participated in this modified version of volleyball for women. It was fantastic that four people from Israel spent several days in Youngstown prior to the event. If you don’t know what manamet is, give the JCC a call to learn.

But as Federation is winding down some events, we’re gearing up for others. Some big projects are in the works, also.

Levy Gardens is acquiring a new bus – a 2018 Ford E350 Diamond Coach VIP 15 passenger handicap accessible bus. Grant money from the Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, the Frances and Lillian Schermer Charitable Trust, the Senator Maurice and Florence Lipscher Charitable Fund, and the J. Ford Crandall Memorial Foundation enabled us to make this necessary purchase. Levy Gardens provides its tenants with free transportation to scheduled outings, physicians' appointments, and to run errands. They are also responsible for providing transportation for Heritage Manor Adult Day Services clients, many of whom are Veterans and low-income Medicaid participants. In 2018, the Levy Gardens' transportation department made a total of 2,090 trips for its agencies. 

And don’t forget Levy Gardens will hold an open house Aug. 18. It will include tours, door prizes, music, and refreshments – come see why Levy Gardens is the answer!

Renovations at Heritage Manor and Jewish Family Services continue. Heritage Manor’s lobby is being renovated to improve security in the building. JFS is undergoing renovations to its offices. Included are new ceilings, lighting, and flooring, as well as painting and construction of two additional office areas.

Heritage Manor recently hired a therapy manager and a physical therapist. They are replacing two long-time employees. We will miss them, but are excited to have the new hires. They will make a wonderful addition tour staff.  

Shay Erez, outreach coordinator for JFS, is working on a Life Stories project. We were fortunate to be able to have an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Elizabeth Lehman, with us for 10 weeks this summer to make this project a reality. On Aug. 12, 11 members of the community will be presented with books that tell their life story as told to Liz. Join us for a reception at 6 p.m. at the JCC.

The annual Film Festival begins Sept. 16. The films shown depict a broad spectrum of Jewish Life. Don’t miss them! More information is available at jccyoungstown.org.

Our Inaugural event is set for Sept. 19, at the DeYor Performing Arts Center. Our speaker will be Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, an expert on Holocaust deniers. She is probably most widely known for the libel lawsuit brought against her in 1996 by David Irving for having called him a Holocaust denier. Before that event, learn more about the libel case brought against her when we show the film “Denial” at 7 p.m. Aug. 15. Based on the acclaimed book “Denial: Holocaust History on Trial,” Denial recounts Deborah’s legal battle for historical truth against David Irving, who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier.

And don’t forget to visit us at the Canfield Fair. The Jewish Community Relations Council will again host a booth. Included will be information about Israel and the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation and its agencies. Volunteers are needed to staff the booth. Contact Gon Erez at gerez@jewishyoungstown.org or 330.746.3250, ext. 159, if you’d like to help.

Summer’s winding down, but your Federation is not. Be sure to take advantage of all we are able to offer because of your generosity.

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