This week, we went to Ohr Torah, a Jewish day school that takes a whole child approach to education. As a psychology major, I found their educational processes and techniques super fascinating. In addition to being a school, Ohr Torah also has a pretty large collection of Judaica, including what they call “The Golden Ledger”, which contains information on some of Cincinnati’s oldest Jewish families.
While we were at Ohr Torah, we heard from Fletcher Guttman, who has been interning there this summer. Fletcher is a Judaic Studies major at the University of Cincinnati. His main project this summer has been working on a display for the new Loveland cemetery. Making this display has involved a lot of research, which is, luckily, something Fletcher really enjoys doing. He said that doing this research and searching for old Judaica has been the best part of his internship. One place he has found some really interesting Judaica is Golf Manor Synagogue, which is one of Cincinnati’s oldest Orthodox congregations.
Dov Bell has also been doing a lot of research about Cincinnati’s Jewish history this summer. They are studying Creative Writing and Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati and are interning at the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati this summer. Dov even went so far as to say learning about the Jewish history of Cincinnati has been their favorite thing that they’ve done this summer (even after they got to help on a tv episode airing on PBS). Dov told me that it has been so impactful to be taking care of their community through the cemetery. They said that they feel more involved in the Jewish community now than they ever thought possible.
Jamie Meschoulam also said that she feels incredibly involved in the community because of her internship. Jamie is a student at Penn State University studying International Relations, and she is interning at the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center. One of Jamie’s big projects this summer was the Upstander 5k. She said that this specific event is what helped her get so connected in the Cincinnati Jewish community, as well as give her an opportunity to educate others about what HHC does. Working at HHC was an incredibly powerful experience for Jamie (I can only imagine; I was there for a few hours and it was super impactful). She said that getting to listen in on The Institute on Teaching the Holocaust really helped connect it to everything that is going on in our world today, and that she feels incredibly motivated to help our society move past all of the hate we see into a place of acceptance.
Clearly, leaning our history has been super important for so many of us. Learning that Cincinnati has such a prevalent Jewish history was so exciting, I know even when the summer is over I will continue to research Jewish Cincinnati and, hopefully, become even more involved in the community.
One week left!