Adlers Endow Civic Leaders Mission
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Thomas and Joann Adler Endow Jewish Federation of Cleveland's Civic Leaders Israel Mission
This July, 40 of Cleveland’s esteemed civic leaders will travel to Israel on the Thomas and Joann Adler Civic Leaders Israel Mission. This new biennial mission launched by the Adlers of Shaker Heights was established through an endowment at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. The purpose is to expose Cleveland leadership to Israel’s innovative approaches to economic and community development, education and support of at-risk and disadvantaged populations, and to create opportunities for partnership with each other and Israeli counterparts.
“The non-profit community in Cleveland plays a very important role,” the Adlers said. “We feel having community leaders explore Israel will have a positive impact on how they view growth in Israel and how that can positively affect growth in Cleveland.”
The Federation has a long history of collaborating with other non-profits, social service agencies, and educational organizations for the betterment of the Cleveland community as a whole. Facilitating this kind of cross-cultural exchange develops a relevant dialogue between Israel and Cleveland, which benefits everyone.
Cleveland Public Library CEO and Mission Co-chair, Felton Thomas looks forward to exploring how Israeli leaders use innovation to improve their cities and country. “Israel is full of young innovators who are re-imagining how government works with the private sector. This is important for us to see,” said Thomas. “I'm appreciative of the Adler’s commitment to giving civic leaders this incredible opportunity.”
Thomas joins fellow Mission Co-Chairs Cheryl Davis, recently retired Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Victor Ruiz, Executive Director of Esperanza Inc.
“I’m interested in how Israel is addressing underserved communities and the role government plays in addressing at-risk youth within different ethnic communities,” said Ruiz, “I’d like to see how Israeli communities are coming together to address this, and how small groups of people tackle the large issues.”
Federation and its partner agencies have been deeply invested in improving the lives of at-risk youth for decades. Mission participants will learn about programming in Israel that supports at-risk youth and their families, like Youth Futures, a Federation-supported program that provides community-based mentoring for youth in numerous cities across Israel.
In addition, participants will attend seminars with high-level officials and opinion leaders to explore issues facing Israeli society, and learn about the complexities of the region. They will also have the opportunity to meet with Israeli counterparts who work in similar professions to facilitate institutional and one-on-one relationship building.
“Every person I’ve spoken to wants to take everything from this experience and figure out how to strengthen our community here in Cleveland for years to come,” said Davis, who is Immediate Past Chair of Federation’s Community Relations Committee (CRC).
The Thomas and Joann Adler Civic Leaders Israel Mission is part of Federation’s CRC, which works to build relationships across diverse communities and strengthen the ties of the Jewish community to the general community. CRC helps drive Israeli education and advocacy efforts for Greater Cleveland in collaboration with the Federation’s Overseas Connections Committee and partner agencies.