A Motto for Living

Tags: Federation, legacy, Philanthropy

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Noreen’s family: Last row – left to right, David Stripinis, Brad Robbins, Sam Robbins; Fourth row – Brian Robbins, Joshua Sachar; Third row – Beth Robbins, Emma Robbins, Josh Robbins, Abby Mendelsohn, Debbie Sachar: Second row – Lisa Goldstein, Emily Robbins, Barry Goloboff, Marcy Robbins, Amanda Sachar; First row – Jacob Stripinis, Noreen Koppelman-Goldstein, Henry Sachar

A Way to Be Remembered

When asked how she would like to be remembered, Noreen Koppelman-Goldstein carefully considered how to respond in a way that covered everything. For her, everything is her family AND her community.

In her family, Noreen wants to be remembered as the “fun” grandma, best mother-in-law, a true lifetime learner, a hardworking businessperson, and a dedicated supporter of the Jewish community. Communally, she would like to be remembered as someone who got involved, who cared about the bigger picture and the needs of others both in Cleveland and Israel, and who supported Jewish and community-wide organizations generously and loyally.

Noreen’s values are rooted in the ones that her parents modeled for her. She observed her father’s hard work and dedication to various nonprofit organizations. She remembers that her family initially became involved in Jewish National Fund (JNF) because they had cousins living in Israel. Because the family’s business, Midwest Metals, was in Lake County, they not only made gifts to the Lakeland Community College Foundation but also served on the board of trustees.

As a young girl, Noreen accompanied her father to work and loved learning about the business. But when she went to college, she did not consider a business degree as she never thought that someday she would be president of the family business, as she now has been for 20 years. Instead, Noreen studied education, which many girls did at the time, and became a teacher. Her love of learning continued with a master’s degree in reading education. After moving to New York in 1974, she went back to school and earned her MBA and JD.

Many years later she returned to Cleveland with her family to join her father in business. While raising her three children and running a large business, Noreen never gave up volunteering for various organizations, and served in several leadership roles – including president of Lake County Bar Association and president of JNF Cleveland.

As her children grew, they learned from her the lessons that she had learned from her parents – that you must give back to your community both financially and with time and talent. For Noreen, the JNF, the Maltz Museum, Menorah Park, and Cleveland Hillel were such organizations.

However, the Jewish Federation was always at the top of her list. “The Federation is the hub of Jewish Cleveland,” she explained. “It brings everyone together and supports the entire Jewish community. There is no other organization that shares that goal.”

As teenagers, Noreen’s grandchildren participated in the Federation’s Saltzman Youth Panel, learning about the needs in the Jewish community and participating in the challenging task of allocating limited funds. She created donor advised funds for each of her children so that they could practice making choices about charitable giving at an early age. All three of Noreen’s children and their spouses are now involved as donors and leaders in the Jewish community. The next generation is following in these footsteps as well, with grandchildren participating in the Federation’s Peggy and John Garson Student Internship program.

As a donor of many decades to the Federation’s Campaign for Jewish Needs, Noreen wanted her gift to be HERE FOR GOOD forever and continue even after her lifetime. To do so, she created a campaign endowment fund – a Lion of Judah Endowment Fund (LOJE). Funding the endowment with a grant recommendation from her donor advised fund was a simple and straightforward way for Noreen to create her LOJE.

As one of the 86 women who have made the commitment to permanently endow her annual gift, she is proud to be helping the community forever. Each year, a distribution from her fund will support the Campaign for Jewish Needs. Noreen feels wonderful knowing that even after she is gone, a gift in her name will continue making an impact. “It is the best feeling to know that my gift will help people in future generations,” she said. “There is no way to know what the future will bring, but I trust the Federation to provide for the community’s needs, and I wanted to do my part.”

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