Bonnie Marks Receives Ruby Bass Challenge Award
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Award recognizes lifelong commitment and passion for Women IN Philanthropy
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland announced that Bonnie Marks of Beachwood was awarded the 2023 Ruby Bass Challenge Award, the organization’s most prestigious award for women philanthropists. Marks was honored with the award at the Federation’s Women IN Philanthropy Signature Event on June 21.
“I became a Lion of Judah shortly before I became chair of Women’s Philanthropy in the 1990s. It’s so important to me what the Lion of Judah pin represents,” said Marks. “I have worked in the Jewish community all my life, and it was always something I wanted to do. It’s in my DNA. Ruby Bass was a mentor to me, and I’m so honored to receive this award in her name.”
Marks has taken an active role in serving the Cleveland Jewish community for many years. She has served as Women’s Philanthropy chair, Jewish Volunteer Network chair, and Campaign vice chair, along with roles on the Development Committee, Allocations Committee, and Federation’s Board of Trustees. Bonnie currently serves as Bellefaire JCB’s LIFE & LEGACY® co-chair. She has also served as a board member for Bellefaire JCB, Jewish Family Service Association, and Mandel Jewish Community Center.
“Bonnie is someone who says ‘yes’,” said Jennifer Cohen, Women IN Philanthropy chair. “She is a role model of what Women IN Philanthropy is all about.”
Established in memory of Ruby Bass z”l, the award is given annually to a woman who honors Ruby’s lifelong passion for the Federation, her commitment to Women IN Philanthropy and fundraising for the Campaign for Jewish Needs, the Federation’s annual fundraising campaign which provides critical dollars needed to change and improve lives in Cleveland and around the world.
In Marks’ honor, the Ruby Bass Challenge Endowment Fund will make a donation to the Women IN Philanthropy Campaign for the 2024 Campaign for Jewish Needs. This award was established in 2007 by Ruby Bass’ son Jonathan, his wife Stephany, and Lenore Kessler z”l, Stephany’s mother and a dear friend of Ruby’s.