Letter From the Executive Director
Summer is upon us! The mix of unprecedented rain followed by hot days has made it more challenging than usual to maintain the grass, shrubs, and hedges in the cemeteries. We’re working as quickly as possible to keep up with the growth and other maintenance, while planning for upcoming projects and events. We’ll have a full update available in the coming weeks on current and planned capital projects at the cemeteries. A short summary is available here.
In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll see that JCGC honored Carol and Larry Neuman, two of our Guardians, at the Voices of Giving event, honoring legacy donors throughout Greater Cincinnati. Mazal Tov to the Neumans! We are so grateful to all our legacy donors for their commitment to JCGC’s future.
You’ll also find an article about our Veterans Recognition Project, initiated by Ethan Zied, a Boy Scout working to become an Eagle Scout. We have begun by marking veterans’ graves in the Walnut Hills cemetery. If you or a group have an interest in helping us to mark veterans’ graves or in supporting Ethan’s project through a donation, please contact us!
In our ongoing efforts to promote JCGC, serve the community and our congregations, and establish good relationships with our cemeteries’ neighbors, we’ve been busy these past few months with programs and outreach. I presented to the Northern Hills Synagogue Men’s Club and we facilitated a volunteer day for United Synagogue Youth (USY) when they had a conference in Cincinnati this spring. We are working with several congregations on plans for volunteer days and programs with religious schools to bury religious books, which is the traditional Jewish means of disposal of such items.
We also presented to Covedale Elementary School kids and they featured JCGC in their Covedale History Day. And we hosted a church-based photography group in the Price Hill cemeteries, where they learned about the history of the Jewish community, while photographing the cemetery.
More recently, for a second year in a row, we led a tour of the Walnut Hills Cemetery for the Workum Summer Interns, Jewish students placed at internships at congregations and agencies throughout our Jewish community. It is a wonderful opportunity to share some of our city’s history with young people. We walked past the graves of the founders of so many of the institutions in which they are working this summer – Robert Krohn Livingston of Camp Livingston; Jacob Radar Marcus of the American Jewish Archives; Rabbi Isaac M. Wise, Rabbi David Philipson, and Rabbi Max Lilienthal of Wise Temple and Rockdale Temple; and the list goes on. Most notably, we can visit the Workum family plots, as well.
Finally, we have had three of the four lectures in our inaugural series. Information about the past lectures is available on our events page. The most recent lecture was on end of life planning, and included a magnificent panel: Rabbi Sigma Coran of Rockdale Temple, who addressed matters from the perspective of clergy; Daniel J. Hoffheimer, who addressed estate and related end of life planning, from a legal perspective; and Robert Weil, of Weil Funeral Home. Caroline Sim, our Jewish Foundation Fellow, moderated the discussion.
Caroline will present, along with Dr. Rabbi Matthew Kraus, professor at University of Cincinnati, and Abby Schwartz, Director of the Skirball Museum at HUC-JIR. We’ll explore early Jewish burial practices, Jewish tombstones and iconography, and the art history of monuments. This final lecture in the series is on September 12th at 7pm at Rockdale Temple. We hope to see you there!
As always, in service of our mission,