March 12, 2019

Is Ohio in Hawaii?

Sarit Benzequen Sarit Benzequen

Is Ohio in Hawaii?

By Sarit Benzequen

Is Ohio in Hawaii?
Oh, so you live on a farm?
There aren’t any stores near you, right?
Do you drive a tractor to school?

Every Cincinnatian has been asked these questions. They are trivial because of course we have cars, Ohio is in the United States mainland, most of us don’t live on farms, and we have many stores nearby since we are as much of consumers as the rest of America.

Cincinnati is actually a great place. These past few years have been amazing for the Jewish community, especially for teens. With Venture Awards, new youth groups, teen events, Cteen Jtext (who doesn’t like free money?!), it is pretty great for us here in Cincy.

This community raises leaders and teaches kids that they have the ability to take initiative. The resources available for the children of Cincinnati are unbelievable and we should all be taking advantage of that. Whether it is from grants to visit Israel, or funds from a Venture Award, the importance of communal responsibility is taught and practiced. Cincinnati doesn’t just watch the teens grow up, Cincinnati grows up with the teens, supporting them in their endeavors. Kids can always reach out to the JCC, religious leaders, or community friends and be embraced welcomingly. The connection between Jews in this community is truly beautiful.

These next few months will be my last few living in Cincinnati as I move on to my next stage in life; studying in Israel. I have learned so much during my years in Ohio. I especially admire the Jewish community’s enthusiasm regarding teaching kids to be givers, leaders, and influential Jews. Wherever life takes me I will always remember the powerhouse that I grew up in: the Jewish Community of Cincinnati in “farmland” Ohio.