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May 2, 2016

Dear Friends,

It is with a very heavy heart that I pass along the news that former Ohio Jewish Communities executive director Joyce Garver Keller passed away in her sleep last night.  Joyce was a mentor to many of us and was a great leader of the Jewish people.  

Joyce was a force of nature.  When she saw the opportunity to advance the agenda of the Jewish community, she would take no prisoners.  As a 22 year old staffer in the Ohio Governor’s office, I received the benefit of the “full JGK treatment” – as did just about every Jewish and non-Jewish elected official and staff person in the Ohio Statehouse.  In fact, as I was honored to repeat many times during her retirement tour last year, Joyce was instrumental in introducing me to the organized Jewish community, and setting me on the path that led to my immersing myself in Judaism, which literally changed the path of my life.  I know for certain that there are dozens of us who have similar stories about Joyce’s impact on us individually, and collectively.

When we have details about funeral arrangements, we will pass them along.

May her husband Steven, their son Stuart (Michelle), their three grandsons, and all of us who loved Joyce be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may Joyce’s memory eternally be for a blessing.

William