Akron’s Jewish community is celebrating a century of good works.
On Wednesday, members of the community gathered at the Shaw Jewish Community Center for a centennial reception to mark the milestone of the Jewish Community Board of Akron. After the reception, those in attendance viewed a special documentary prepared for the occasion, during the board’s annual business meeting.
“I call it 100 years of the history of philanthropy throughout the Jewish community and throughout the Akron community,” said Debra Shifrin, president of the Jewish Community Board of Akron. “The city and the Jewish community are linked together because we are a part of the larger Akron community.”
The Jewish Community Board of Akron is dedicated to making the world a better place by fighting poverty, strengthening Jewish identity and promoting social justice.
It traces its roots to 1914 with the establishment of the Jewish Social Service Federation, also known as “The Federation.”
“There were Hebrew merchants in the area as early as 1865, and in 1914, 100 Jewish men invested to form a Jewish welfare foundation. That foundation has continually grown and expanded over the years into what is now the Jewish Community Board of Akron,” said David Lieberth, who produced the 11-minute documentary.
The board is affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America and conducts an annual campaign to provide funds for the three agencies under its umbrella: the Shaw Jewish Community Center of Akron, The Lippman School and Jewish Family Service.
It also provides funding to other local, national and international Jewish programs and agencies.
“It’s huge that we’ve been here for 100 years and that we are still a viable institution,” said David K. Koch, CEO of the Jewish Community Board of Akron. “It speaks volumes about the generosity and commitment of the community to continue our mission to make the world a better place.”
For more information about the board and to view the video, go to www.jewishakron.org.