Gettler Family Foundation's $1 million grant will help send security experts abroad

CINCINNATI -- A local family's $1 million grant will help retired military personnel and national security experts take their insights to policymakers in Washington.

The Gettler Family Foundation awarded the gift to the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, an organization that educates congressional, military and civilian national security decision-makers on American defense and strategic interests, primarily in the Middle East. The institute focuses on U.S.-Israeli security cooperation in the region. 

Benjamin Gettler was chairman of the institute. He also was president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, part of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. He served as chairman of the Jewish Hospital and was the founder and first president of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. He died in 2013.

"Ben Gettler was a man with an expansive personality, unlimited imagination, clear and goal-oriented vision, and boundless energy," said Michael Rapp, who serves on the institute's national board and teaches at Xavier University. "He was a true and loyal friend."

Through the grant, the institute will arrange missions of high-level retired senior American military officers and civilian national security experts to countries that are important to U.S. national security, as well as the U.S.-Israel relationship. When they return, they'll share their findings and recommendations with policymakers and opinion leaders in Washington and across the country. 

Family and friends said the gift carry on Gettler's legacy.

"Ben's knowledge, leadership skills, and ability to speak to the highest levels of national policy makers were very special," institute chairman David Steinmann said. 

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