Thank You for Your Support

A Message from Andy Lipkin, Federation Executive Vice-President

The last couple of months have been emotional for me. As many of you know, I had heart surgery in March. Just learning I needed surgery was emotional, but the timing was also upsetting. My surgery was scheduled for two days after my daughter’s wedding.

But during this very stressful time in my life my family was there for me. My wife Hilari took time off from her job, my daughter Rachel and my new son-in-law Scott postponed their honeymoon, and my son Sean spent two weeks with us. Their never-ending support means so much to me, and demonstrates the true meaning of family.

My Jewish community family was also there for me. I was overwhelmed by the text messages, emails, get well cards, and phone calls. Members of the community even provided two weeks’ worth of meals for us.

So, I want to say thank you. I’m grateful every day for my family and my Jewish community family. Your support means the world to me. It helped me get through a very tough time in my life.

And that’s what we do in our local Jewish community. We’re there for each other. And Federation and its agencies are here to help through your donations to the Annual Campaign.

For example, recently Jewish Family Services delivered 25 Passover baskets to families and individuals in need; the Jewish Community Relations Council’s annual Yom Hashoah commemorations honored survivors in two moving ceremonies; Heritage Manor and Levy Gardens both hosted Passover Seders for residents/tenants and their families; and Federation’s security upgrades are ensuring all are safe on our 18-acre campus.

But it doesn’t stop there. We’re continuously striving to make the Federation and its agencies better, and to ensure our offerings serve the needs of our local Jewish community.

Levy Gardens, thanks to a generous donation, has 32 new, custom-made, dining room chairs, ensuring a comfortable dining experience for tenants. At Heritage Manor, a dedicated adult day services director was recently hired to focus her attention solely on the 15 to 20 program participants each week.  A new program, Music and Memory, is also in the works at Heritage Manor. It enables those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories. Community volunteers are being recruited to help with this program. The JFS offices, and Heritage Manor’s offices and lobby are undergoing renovations to better serve their staff, residents, and clients. Also, a new security door is being installed at Heritage Manor to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. Commercials for both Levy Gardens and Heritage Manor are being aired on WKBN to educate the community about what they offer.

JCRC held a newly-created Lox and Legislators breakfast legislative reception on May 13. All local, state, and federal legislators and their staff were invited. We made positive connections with them, and they learned more about what Federation and its agencies offer. The JCRC’s advocacy efforts have kicked into high gear, both on the state and Federal levels. At the state level, Ohio Jewish Communities is assisting with the attempt to find funding for a new vehicle for local senior transportation. Efforts to secure funding for community security needs at the state and Federal levels continues to be a high priority.

The Jewish Community Center is gearing up for a busy summer – the Logan Campus opened May 25 and summer camp starts June 3. A new community pavilion, complete with a kitchenette, restrooms, water fountains, and picnic tables is being built, as are outdoor competitive-grade pickleball courts. Our Early Learning Center will soon include a new preschool room for educating our youngest learners. And the JCC is again partnering with Youngstown City School District/City of YOU to train lifeguards for the Northside pool - helping to keep the only public pool in Youngstown open - and Logan Campus.

I know our Jewish community will continue to support one another, and the Federation and its agencies will always work to better help you do that. If you have a suggestion as to how the Federation can better serve the community, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Best wishes for a joyous summer.

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