Eisenman Award to be Presented During Federation Meeting

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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News

The Jewish community will gather May 23 for the 120th annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland to reflect on the work of the past year and look to the future.

Over the past year, the Federation has brought the community together in celebration and in support of each other and Israelis through a variety of events centered around the Israel-Hamas war, rising antisemitism and Israel’s 75th anniversary. The annual meeting will be another chance for the community to come together and hear from featured speaker Rabbi David Wolpe, honor Gary L. Gross with the Charles Eisenman Award for Exceptional Civic Contributions and elect the Federation trustees.

“There’s an undeniable sense of pride and connection with Jewish Cleveland and what it means for our city,” Ervin Pavlofsky, event co-chair with his wife, Wendi, told the Cleveland Jewish News on May 13. “And the fact that the Federation has been here for 120 years and has propelled so many generations forward I think is just incredible.”

Looking back at the past year, Ervin Pavlofsky said Cleveland’s Jewish community rose up as leaders in the country after the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack, sending 1,800 people to the March for Israel in Washington, D.C., and adopting Kibbutz Kissufim in Israel to help the community there rebuild after the devastating attack.

“We’ve done a variety of different events that have brought the community together since Oct. 7 which is always what Cleveland does best,” Wendi Pavlofsky told the CJN. The Pavlofskys are residents of Moreland Hills and attend services at Solon Chabad.

Although Wolpe was booked as a speaker prior to the Oct. 7 attack, Ervin Pavlofsky said he is even more prominent now, receiving recognition as the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by The Jerusalem Post.

“He will be discussing the importance of keeping the Jewish community and Jewish people together during these very difficult times,” he said. “And I think his message is about don’t walk away, but double down on our commitment to Israel.”

The event will also honor Gross for his “decade of dedication to the Jewish Cleveland community,” Ervin Pavlofsky said. “Gary played an integral role on Jewish education, the executive leadership transition of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the distribution of emergency funds during COVID-19. So, I think he’s a well-deserved recipient.”

Ervin Pavlofsky said he hopes people leave the annual meeting with a sense of connection to each other and the global Jewish community, particularly during a difficult time, and to appreciate “how much we can accomplish when we work together.”

If You Go

WHAT: 120th Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

WHERE: The Temple-Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Blvd, Beachwood

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. May 23

INFO: For more information and to register, visit jewishcleveland.org

Learn More: Federation