2020 Annual Report
A defining Moment
in our community's history
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic brought on changes within our community, our nation, and our world that we had never experienced before – social distancing, wearing masks, virtual learning, and more.
What COVID-19 could not and would not change was Jewish Cleveland’s resolve to care for one another. With will and determination, Jewish Clevelanders banded together to ensure:
- Our Jewish community was open and engaged while our buildings were closed.
- We faced the challenges together.
- We invested in our children and in each other.
- We embraced each other and made sure no one felt alone despite our physical distance.
- We reached out to and supported the isolated and vulnerable.
- We made our Jewish community a more inclusive place.
- We educated our children on what it means to put our Jewish values to work.
- We provided for our community, so that no one needed to take “time off” from their involvement in Jewish life.
- We protected those institutions of Jewish life that have made us one of the strongest Jewish communities in the country.
As you will see on the following pages, our community did all this and so much more. Together, we successfully overcame once-in-a-generation challenges and kept our community strong.
Together we proved that we are – and will continue to be – HERE FOR GOOD!
2020 was barely three months old when the world as we knew it changed immediately and dramatically. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northeast Ohio created once-in-a-lifetime challenges for our community. Those who were already vulnerable were now in greater need. At the same time, many more were quickly becoming vulnerable – emotionally, physically, and financially.
And yet, amid all this change, Jewish Clevelanders’ commitment to one another and the community in which we live remained unchanged. Without hesitation, people throughout our community stepped forward and asked, “how can we help?” Through selfless actions of all sizes, our community came together and showed once again that we are HERE FOR GOOD!
For example, 500 volunteers made more than 1,800 “Caring Calls” and delivered 2,400 care packages to elderly community members to reassure them that they were not alone or overlooked. At the same time, through Federation’s Bridge to the Future program, we helped establish a volunteer call center in Beit
Shean, Israel (Cleveland’s sister city) dedicated to identifying and addressing welfare needs in the community, including grocery and medication delivery, and wellness checks for the elderly.
Perhaps the most visible evidence of Jewish Cleveland’s determination during this unprecedented time was the record results achieved in our latest Campaign for Jewish Needs. Under the leadership of General Campaign Chair Bradley Sherman, our community raised $33.1 million from more than 12,000 donors, and more than $15.4 million for Jewish Cleveland’s Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund (see sidebar). This tremendous generosity ensures critical services and programs our community needs will continue without interruption without compromising our ability to plan for the future.
2020 tested all of us. But Cleveland proved once again why it is one of the most caring and vibrant Jewish communities in the world by working together to come through it still connected and still strong.
Thank you to the amazing healthcare professionals and front-line workers across Northeast Ohio for caring for us all. Thank you to the brave local law enforcement officers – including our security provider JFC Security, LLC – for protecting us from the continued rise of anti-Semitism and brazen acts of hate-driven violence. Thank you to the tireless efforts of our beneficiary agencies to serve the ever-changing needs of our diverse community with such grace and creativity.
And, most importantly, thank you for all you do to make sure that together, we are – and will continue to be – HERE FOR GOOD.
CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund was established to help sustain and strengthen the Cleveland Jewish community, and ensures:
- Our community’s social service providers, schools, and other organizations would be less overwhelmed by the effects of the pandemic
- People would not need to take time off from Jewish life
- Massive, short-term financial losses would not lead to the dismantling of key Jewish institutions in Jewish Cleveland
With these emergency funds, a continuity plan has been put into place in order to serve:
People who find themselves newly vulnerable because of the pandemic as well as people who were already vulnerable before the pandemic who now have increased needs.
Those at risk of withdrawing from Jewish life
People at risk of having to withdraw from Jewish life or missing out on critical experiences because of the pandemic.
Threatened Jewish institutions
Jewish institutions facing potential closure due to massive revenue losses.
Thanks to the generous support of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation which created a special matching gift program to inspire new and increased Campaign gifts this year, we have been able to raise more than $15.4 million needed to position Jewish Cleveland to emerge on the other side of this crisis in a position of strength and continuity.
Serving more than 9,000 community members
across 8 counties through food pantries, home delivered meals, and holiday food distributions.
Organizing 500 Jewish Cleveland volunteers to help deliver food, distribute care packages, and more.
Maintaining daily contact with the 5,400 Holocaust survivors living in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
Supporting more than 32,000 people in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) with food delivery, school supply donations, caring calls, and more through the JDC.
with 30 guards deployed at 30 minyanim and at the 20 different organizations and agencies that have re-opened.
Contacting more than 1,800 elderly Jewish Clevelanders
to reassure them that they were not forgotten or alone despite the need for physical distancing during the pandemic.
Hosting 36 virtual events for more than 4,500 unique viewers that kept our community connected and informed – and entertained.
Creating the L.E.V. Campus Fellowship for 104 college students from 44 different universities that resulted in more than 2,000 hours of volunteer service at 15 organizations in the Jewish and general Cleveland community.
Helping 27 eligible local Jewish organizations in the secure over $17 million in SBA/
Providing approximately 1,800 people living in Northwest Russia’s small, remote Jewish communities with online experiences that strengthened their Jewish identity.
Launching a new online curriculum that is now used by over
10,000 students at 225 congregations across the country.
Co-hosting a three-part, virtual series that explored faith during times of crisis, the evolution towards racial justice,
and voting rights with
more than 200 unique attendees from diverse backgrounds.
more than 100,000 N95 personal protection masks for Greater Cleveland non-profits,
area hospitals, and Federation beneficiary agencies.
than 250 participants of across five continents for networking and inspiring young Jewish doers through the 248 Virtual Global Summit.
Delivering monthly financial aid for
food, medicine, and other basics to
9,000 children and families in distress from 27 countries through the JDC.
Organizing 200 Jewish Clevelanders to travel to New York in January to stand up against hatred and anti-Semitism at the “No Hate. No Fear. Solidarity March.”
Supporting the five Cleveland Jewish day schools' efforts to re-open their doors for in-classroom learning this fall.
HERE FOR CARING
We care for one another by helping feed the hungry, comfort the sick, aid the elderly, shelter the homeless, and support those in need or with disabilities – wherever they are in the world. We advocate for the vulnerable and fight for social justice. We also invest significant resources in preventing, preparing for, and responding to potential security threats to our community.
This past year, those who were already vulnerable were more so in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The urgency to ensure critical services and programs were delivered without interruption was compounded by the fact that so many more now found themselves vulnerable emotionally, physically, and/or financially.
We also knew that social distancing could rapidly become social isolation without a concerted effort to help community members continue to feel connected to each other, the community, and to Judaism. From “caring calls” to the elderly who might feel alone or forgotten in this unsettled time to virtual events that brought families together – including relatives out of town – for entertaining and educating programming, Jewish Cleveland was able to stay together while staying safe.
HERE FOR PREPARING
We prepare for the future by ensuring the long-term health and vitality of our diverse community. We provide the critical strategic planning and oversight needed to make life better today and for generations to come. We provide a wide range of educational programming for all ages which celebrates Jewish values and traditions. We also develop the next generation of leaders through mentoring, teaching, and hands-on experiences.
With an abrupt shift in life on campus and many students’ summer jobs, internships, and other planned experiences cancelled due to COVID-19, the L.E.V. Campus Fellowship was created for college students. A joint program between your Federation, Cleveland Hillel, and Hillel at Kent State University, the L.E.V. Campus Fellowship engaged students in leadership development, Jewish education, and volunteer experiences. While L.E.V. fellows nurtured their Jewish community through acts of tikkun olam (repairing the world), they also learned the importance of making a difference in their own community and our investment in their success. Young changemakers also took part in Serve the Moment, a fellowship program dedicated to meaningful volunteer service.
The world of education also changed overnight with the arrival of COVID-19. Your Federation worked closely with the Jewish Education Center (JEC) and health care professionals to get our five Jewish day schools ready for fall in-person learning, while JEC’s “La-bri’ut: To Our Health and Wellness,” was developed to address children’s at-home congregational learning needs.
HERE FOR REPAIRING
We repair our world by responding in times of emergency and helping people rebuild in the wake of natural or man-made disasters. We also invest in programs and services that provide a strong safety net during times of personal crises.
Even in this challenging time, our Jewish community stepped forward to help with Ethiopian aliyah and family reunification in Israel through the work of our beneficiary agency, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). In December 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, a plane of 300 olim arrived in Israel in time for Shabbat as part of Operation Tzur Yisrael (Rock of Israel). For nearly 20 years, your Federation has been at the helm of helping tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews immigrate to their homeland and reunite with their families.
While the spread of COVID-19 threatened the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, vulnerable Jews continued to receive uninterrupted life-saving services such as personal protective equipment, emergency food, and medicine through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a Federation beneficiary agency.
Every dollar makes a huge difference
Campaign for Jewish Needs
We greatly appreciate the support of Brunswick Companies, KeyBank, and Benesch for the matching gift incentives they provided during Campaign.
Cleveland Hillel Foundation
CWRU Siegal Jewish
Lifelong Learning Program
Fuchs Mizrachi School
Gross Schechter Day School
Hebrew Academy of Cleveland
Hebrew Shelter Home
Hillel at Kent State University
Jewish Community Security
Jewish Education Center
Jewish Family Service Association
Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
Mandel Jewish Community Center
Yeshiva Derech HaTorah*
* Agency is in candidacy status
ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Hillel at Miami University
Hillel at Ohio University
Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
(70 Faces Media)
Jewish War Veterans
National Council Supporting Eurasian Jewry (formerly NCSJ)
Network for Jewish Human Service Agencies (formerly AJFCA)
AROUND THE GLOBE
Distribution Committee (JDC)
Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)
Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)
Overseas Connections Committee,
Jewish Federation of Cleveland
Ethiopian National Project
ADDITIONAL FEDERATION SUPPORT
Arthur H. Kaplansky
Norma and Harvey Kotler
Karen Tucker and Greg Malkin
No Cleveland organization impacts more Jewish lives
TOTAL GRANTMAKING & PROGRAM EXPENSES
LOCAL AGENCIES AND SERVICES
OVERSEAS AGENCIES AND SERVICES
TOTAL GRANT MAKING BY CATEGORY
SOURCE OF GRANTS
Our endowment funds, donor advised funds, and supporting foundations, combined with the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs and Centennial Initiative for Jewish Cleveland fundraising, make the Federation one of Ohio’s largest grantmaking organizations — with over $110 million allocated from all sources in the 2020 fiscal year.
Board of Trustees & Committees
Executive Committee: Eric E. Bell · Reneé Chelm* · Grant N. Dinner · Barry S. Feldman · Margaret Richards Frankel · Robert Goldberg* · Lynn-Ann Gries · Gary L. Gross* · Harley I. Gross* · William H. Heller* · Michelle Hirsch · Ilana I. Katz · Susan D. Krantz · Karen Krause · Gregg A. Levine · Peter Meisel · Cameron Orlean · Dan A. Polster · Albert B. Ratner* · Charles Horowitz Ratner* · Beth Rosenberg · Enid Rosenberg · Barbara Rosskamm · Bradley A. Sherman · Michael D. Siegal* · Scott M. Simon · Erica G. Starrfield · Sally H. Wertheim* · Danielle Wild · Timothy F. Wuliger* · Andrew Zelman
STANDING COMMITTEES (as of September 30, 2020)
Distributes resources from the Campaign for Jewish Needs, balancing local, national, and overseas needs; helps to identify immediate and long-term issues which the community and/or individual agencies need to address; helps ensure that funds from the Campaign for Jewish Needs are used effectively and efficiently
Beth Wain Brandon, Chair · Susan Y. Meisel, Chair, Subcommittee on Overseas · Harvey Sass, Chair, Subcommittee on Education Agencies · Warren L. Wolfson, Chair, Subcommittee on Human Services · Barry S. Feldman, Chair, National Agencies Liaison Team
COMMUNITY PLANNING COMMITTEE
Studies and plans for community needs
Peter Meisel, Chair
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Implements public affairs agenda
Gregg A. Levine, Chair · Kerry Kertesz, Lori Wald, Vice-Chairs
Oversees all fundraising activities
Enid Rosenberg, Chair · Bradley A. Sherman, General Chair, 2021 Campaign for Jewish Needs · Michelle Hirsch, Chair, Women IN Philanthropy · Cameron Orlean, Chair, Young Leadership Division
ENDOWMENT FUND COMMITTEE
Recommends funding for community programming and emergency needs
Grant N. Dinner, Chair · Matthew F. Kadish, Chair, Donor Advised Fund Advisory Committee · Alan E. Yanowitz, Chair, Foundation Advisory Council
FINANCE AND INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
Manages investment of endowment and capital funds
William H. Heller, Chair
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Provides guidance and oversight of the recruitment, development, and placement of qualified professional and lay leadership
Lynn-Ann Gries, Chair · Susan R. Hurwitz, Chair, ALeRT (Agency Leadership Roundtable) · Enid Rosenberg, Chair, Gries Award Committee · Kim M. Pesses, Stephen J. Weinberg, Co-Chairs, Mandel Course for Advanced Leadership
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
Establishes marketing agenda and oversees communications activities
Ilana I. Katz, Chair · Michael C. Perlmuter, Shari S. Perlmuter, Co-Chairs, Annual Meeting
OVERSEAS CONNECTIONS COMMITTEE
Conceives and manages projects that connect Jews in Cleveland with Jews in Israel and around the world
Lynne M. Cohen, Chair · Mark Holz, Chair, Cleveland/Beit Shean Partnership Subcommittee · Barry S. Feldman, Chair, Cleveland/ St. Petersburg Partnership Subcommittee · Scott J. Spiegle, Chair, IDF Education Corps Subcommittee · Dan A. Polster, Chair, Jordan/Cross-Border Initiative Subcommittee · Herbert A. Wainer, Chair, STEM Advisory Workgroup
STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE
Responsible for the creation, implementation, oversight, and revision of the Strategic Plan
Danielle Wild, Chair
ADDITIONAL COMMITTEES (as of September 30, 2020)
Idelle K. Wolf, Chair
Susan D. Krantz, Chair
J. David Heller, Chair
Ronald S. Gross, Chair
CHARLES EISENMAN AWARD
J. David Heller, Chair
COMMISSION ON CEMETERY PRESERVATION
David B. Shifrin, President
J. David Heller, Chair
Bradley J. Schlang, Chair
JEWISH COMMUNITY HOUSING
Adam H. Gimbel. President · Mark H. Doris, Vice President
JEWISH VOLUNTEER NETWORK
Stephanie Wieder, Chair
Barry S. Feldman, Chair
Susan S. Frankel, Chair
Stephen L. Rudolph, Chair
Todd Stein, Chair
Keith Libman, Chair
Adam T. Zelwin, Chair
* *Trustees for Life, z”l Of Blessed Memory
Volunteer Leadership Award Winners
Charles Eisenman Award
Bennett and Donna Yanowitz Young Leadership Award
Gries Family Award
Irene Zehman Volunteer Award
Amb. Milton A. and Roslyn Z. Wolf Young Campaigner of the Year Award
Amb. Milton A. and Roslyn Z. Wolf Young Campaigner of the Year Award