When Michele Bernstein moved to Columbus from New Jersey with her family five years ago, she was worried about the transition. At the time, she had one daughter who was a sophomore in high school, one daughter who was in eighth grade and a son in sixth grade. She quickly sought out ways to help her kids establish roots and connections in this new town.
“JewishColumbus and the programs that they offered my children enabled them to become a part of the community quickly, as well as meet other Jewish kids in the community,” Bernstein says. “When we learned about the B’nai Tzedek program, my two oldest, despite being past their bat mitzvah year, decided they wanted to contribute. And, the following year, my youngest also made a donation from his bar mitzvah gifts.”
In addition to B’nai Tzedek, all of Bernstein’s children have been involved in the JewishColumbus Youth Foundation, which empowers teens and teaches them, first hand, about the grants process.
Once her family had settled in Columbus, Bernstein took a job as a social worker for Jewish Family Services. Through this role, she has a bird’s eye view of the ways in which JewishColumbus positively impacts the greater Columbus Jewish community.
“I see all of the help that JewishColumbus provides Jewish Family Services every day,” Bernstein says. “As part of my job, I work with Holocaust survivors, and JewishColumbus is very involved in that programming. Four times a year, they fund gift cards for Holocaust survivors so that they can celebrate Jewish holidays. We’ve also been delivering fresh meals every Monday to our Holocaust survivors and homebound seniors who can’t get out during this pandemic, and JewishColumbus helped fund that. I really see all the good that they do for the community.”
Outside of her work with Jewish Family Services, Bernstein also volunteers as a member of the Women’s Philanthropy committee.
“JewishColumbus looks at the whole picture, and then utilizes the money to really help where it’s needed,” Bernstein says. “They donate to sustain agencies on a regular basis, but they also donate to help cover costs in emergencies. When you donate to JewishColumbus, every dollar can really make an impact.”
Join community leaders like Bernstein by donating to our annual campaign. Your contribution — no matter the scale — represents your pride in Columbus’ Jewish community. When you give to JewishColumbus, every dollar makes a difference.