Saltzman Receives Irene Zehman Award
For more than 35 years, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Irene Zehman Award has recognized women who demonstrate the highest ideals and practices of volunteer service. This year, the award goes to Mary Ellen Saltzman of Beachwood, founder of Treasures Gift Shop at the Mandel Jewish Community Center (JCC) and Siegal College. Mary Ellen will be honored at the Federation Women’s Spring Luncheon on May 18 at Landerhaven (6111 Landerhaven Drive, Mayfield Heights).
Mary Ellen has been the driving force behind Treasures for the past 24 years, selling jewelry, Judaica and crafts from Israel. An entirely volunteer-led shop, Treasures has raised more than $250,000 for the JCC and formerly “Friends of the Aaron Garber Library” at Siegal College.
As Treasures raises funds for Cleveland organizations, it also helps support Israeli artists. Mary Ellen brings original Israeli art and Judaica to Cleveland to sell at Treasures, creating and restoring connections with Israel for many community members. She has been able to bring Israel to the people of Cleveland, without them ever leaving home.
“Treasures Gift Shop has been my connection to the Jewish community,” Mary Ellen said. “I see it not only as a fundraiser in support of Israel, but as a way for people to connect to Israel in a positive way.”
In addition to the presentation of the Irene Zehman Award, the Women’s Spring Luncheon will feature Keynote Speaker and former Jewish Clevelander, Jessica Fechtor, author of the national bestseller, Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home. Luncheon attendees will have the opportunity to donate non-perishable foods and essential toiletries to benefit our community food pantries. The luncheon is an annual event for Federation Women’s Philanthropy that attracts over 800 diverse women.