In the ever-expanding melting pot in which we live, we believe there is still much value in retaining ethnic identity as a way to preserve cultural diversity. Focusing on our family’s own rich heritage, we recognize the importance of supporting efforts that foster the continuity of a vibrant Jewish culture and that help people who are weakly engaged in Jewish life and the Jewish community strengthen their sense of meaning and connection in a way that’s comfortable for them. The following list is a representation of grants and projects in the area of Judaism in which The Mayerson Foundation has been involved.
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This Mayerson Foundation operated this popular program from 2004 until 2017. Through ongoing social events, social action initiatives and other programs, Access became the first entry point into the Jewish community for the majority of Jewish young professionals, 21-35 who were looking for an alternative to more traditional ways of connecting to one another and to their community. Through the years, numerous close friendships, committed relationships and marriages resulted and many participants went on to become leaders in the Jewish community.
From 2001 until 2017 Shalom Family helped families in the Greater Cincinnati Jewish community get connected to each other and to Jewish life. This initiative began as a way to link families with newborn babies to Jewish community resources. However, it quickly grew into a much larger program, serving families with children of every age throughout the year, at a wide variety of the most popular kid-friendly venues in town. Events were always free and often focused on Jewish holidays and themes that helped bring Judaism and Jewish culture to life for many thousands of people.
The Mayerson Foundation is proud to be the lead funder in the RAC's ambitious Reform Ohio program, part of a national initiative called Just Congregations, designed to organize a robust, powerful Jewish constituency, working in concert with other diverse communities on the local, state and national levels to bring about justice and equality in America . Due to Ohio's unique confluence of potential for political impact and the Reform population’s size and talents the Reform Action Committee started Reform Ohio. A program of their Just Congregations initiative, it is a statewide effort to bring Jewish values into the broader public square.
Through Reform Ohio, Reform rabbis and congregants in every region of the state, representing tens of thousands of Reform Jews--young and old, politically diverse, and from across a wide economic range—are issuing and acting on a communal call to justice. These congregations believe they can be most powerful together acting as a Movement on the move.
The Foundation and VIA Institute on Character are partnering with The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) on the application of positive psychology to rabbinic practice. It is a pioneering effort to begin a new field of “positive religion” which focuses on applying contemporary science on human flourishing to religious practice. The current initiative involves 12 rabbis from various traditions, geographic locations, and congregation size. The rabbis are studying the science of character strengths and flourishing, and developing applications to their practice, with a specific focus on introducing innovations to the High Holiday experience. The pilot will be analyzed by an independent professional evaluator and the results published and disseminated by CLAL leadership.
After nearly a decade without a permanent Jewish Community Center in Cincinnati, the Mayerson Foundation made a lead gift to a community capital campaign to construct The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson JCC, a $43 million state of the art facility.
The Mayerson JCC houses a full-service fitness center and running track, indoor water park, outdoor lap pool, gymnasium, preschool, 800 seat theater and more. Every year, our JCC touches more than 50,000 lives. People of all ages, abilities, and beliefs in every community throughout Greater Cincinnati depend on the JCC to connect with others, to support their healthy lifestyle, and for many helpful services. Perhaps most of all, to experience the joy of a welcoming community rooted in Jewish values.