Two local Jewish organizations recognized nationally

ish and the Jewish Fertility Foundation have been recognized by the Slingshot Fund as one of “10 to Watch,” a list of 10 relatively new Jewish nonprofits responding to the current concerns of American Jews in original ways.

This is the first time Cincinnati organizations have been recognized as part of Slingshots “10 to Watch” list. New York-based Slingshot was created in 2005 to equip young Jewish philanthropists with the leadership skills, philanthropic tools and network they need to deepen their impact on Jewish life. 

Marie Krulewitch-Browne

“This is an incredible honor for Cincinnati, ish, and our whole Jewish ecosystem,” said Marie Krulewitch-Browne, founding executive and artistic director of ish.

Four Ohio organizations made this year’s list, including two organizations out of Cleveland.

“We’re so proud of our next-door neighbors who are putting Ohio on the map,” Krulewitch-Browne said, “it’s so important that we recognize the achievements and advancements of the Midwest when discussing Jewish life and culture in America today.” 

Leveraging arts and culture to provide accessible, inclusive, and creative experiences, ish is being recognized as a leader in instilling pride, belonging and inclusivity as priorities for a 21st Century American Jewish community.

Best known for producing the Biennial ish Festival in Washington Park, ish’s newest achievements include operating the Cincinnati Jewish Teen Initiative, the Emerging Artist Fellowship and an upcoming holiday celebration of Mimouna at Krohn Conservatory on April 30. 

Infertility is often a silent struggle entangled with emotional, financial, and physical tolls that leave people feeling lonely. In most Jewish communities, where family life is celebrated, experiencing infertility can be especially alienating. In Cincinnati, which is home to more than 32,000 Jews, the average cost of infertility treatment such as IVF is $14,000 per cycle.

The Jewish Fertility Foundation was founded to provide financial assistance, educational awareness, and emotional support to Jewish families that have medical fertility challenges. The foundation offers in-person programming in four cities across the U.S., including in Cincinnati — the foundation’s first expansion city — where support groups and “fertility buddies” have been vital to helping Jews grieve, grow and learn together. 

As the oldest Jewish community west of the Allegheny Mountains, Cincinnati is a prime location to spotlight Jewish culture, arts and identity.

Last year’s ish Festival kicked off a year of programming as part of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial, celebrating 200 years of Jewish Life in the Queen City. 

“It’s only up from here,” says Zak Lempert Draznin, director of development and operations at ish, “Cincinnatians and Ohioans of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds feel welcome at ish, we’d love to see you at our upcoming experiences.”

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