“When agencies like JewishColumbus partner to support agencies like the JCC, it benefits not just the organization financially, but the lives of the community members and the staff who keep our community thriving.” – Liz Berman Sklaw
Community leaders and donors are the lifeblood of everything we accomplish at JewishColumbus. To members of our community who have already graciously contributed to our 2021 Annual Campaign, thank you. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity. To those who have yet to contribute, we hope these stories inspire you to give in a way that fulfills your personal passions. Together, we can continue to create a thriving Jewish community in Columbus.
Liz Berman Sklaw’s fondest childhood memories are her days spent at the Dayton Jewish Community Center. From preschool to camp, her JCC provided a warm, welcoming space and a lifelong foundation of Jewish values.
“I can vividly remember what our JCC smelled like and what I used to do there,” she says. “I remember thinking it was the biggest, most amazing place. Driving there with my family, I just felt like it was a safe place.”
These memories motivate Sklaw’s involvement with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus’s Early Learning Community and other Jewish institutions. At present, Sklaw is a member of the Leadership JewishColumbus cohort and she also participates in the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) National Women’s Philanthropy Emerge Program.
By serving on the JCC Board of Trustees and as a Chair of the Early Childhood Parent Committee, Liz provides her two children — and more than 200 fellow students — the same opportunities she had.
“My husband and I know we’re sending our children to not only a safe place, but a place where they’re going to learn and have parts of their foundation built on solid Jewish values,” she says. “I would support anyone’s children here, even after my kids have left the program.”
Thanks to the work of JewishColumbus, the preschool thrived throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, too. Sklaw says that the support of JewishColumbus helped the JCC provide a best-in-class early childhood education, even during lockdowns.
When the JCC couldn’t hold their Annual Gala, JewishColumbus helped connect families and provide financial support. In March, JewishColumbus teamed up with the JCC for March Matchness, a collaborative fundraiser, and matched donations up to $25,000. Preschool families alone raised over $6,500.
“When agencies like JewishColumbus partner to support agencies like the JCC, it benefits not just the organization financially, but the lives of the community members and the staff who keep our community thriving,” Sklaw says.
Sklaw says the preschool allows children to explore their Jewish identity. Students learn Hebrew, honor Jewish holidays and study the significance of Israel. Those who aren’t Jewish leave preschool with a deep respect and understanding of the culture. Family is also fundamental to the school, and before the pandemic, Sklaw’s favorite tradition was intergenerational Friday Shabbat services for students and families. Sklaw says what truly sets the preschool apart is the environment and play-based curriculum. For four years in a row, they’ve won Best Preschool in Columbus.
“The staff and the administrators just really value and love these children like they’re their own,” Sklaw says. “You walk into the preschool and feel a sense of security and love. It has such a wonderful, nurturing program, for babies six weeks old to kids getting ready for kindergarten.”
When you give to JewishColumbus, your contribution can support JCC programming like the Early Learning Community. Your gift represents your commitment to high-quality Jewish education in Columbus. Will you say, “Yes?”
To those who have already graciously contributed to the 2021 JewishColumbus Annual Campaign, thank you! We are incredibly grateful for your support.