Federation Accepts Global Cleveland Award for Welcoming Immigrants

Tags: Federation, Overseas, Israel, Advocacy

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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland accepted the Global Community Builder Award at Global Cleveland’s annual meeting Dec. 9.

Global Cleveland is a nonprofit organization that welcomes international newcomers to Cuyahoga County, as well as connects them with opportunities throughout the county. The virtual event, which was also in celebration of the organization’s 10th anniversary, honored six other community leaders and organizations for the work they’ve done in support of the international community and Global Cleveland’s mission.

J. David Heller


J. David Heller, board chair of the Federation, accepted the award on the Federation’s behalf. He said the work that Global Cleveland has done in collaboration with the Federation for the last 10 years has been “an incredible partnership of collaboration.”

“The work that you do in the community with the immigrant populations, as well as overseas on the work with partnership cities, including (Cleveland’s sister city) Beit Shean is something that is near and dear to our heart,” Heller said. “We look forward to a lifelong partnership with Global Cleveland.”

Dorit Natan-Lavy, partnership director between Cleveland, Beit Shean and Valley of Springs in Israel, introduced Heller to the virtual crowd and lauded the Federation’s contributions. For 115 years, Natan-Lavy said the Federation has worked to ensure that the Cleveland community is welcoming and inclusive of all people. She said the Federation has promoted the overall well-being of Cleveland by encouraging everyone to fulfill the responsibility of tikkun olam – or to make the world a better place.

“As a founding member of Global Cleveland, the Federation has inspired this organization and many others to follow their lead and build collaborative relationships that drive meaningful social change,” Natan-Lavy said.

The Cleveland Foundation, the Federation, the Tamar and Milton Maltz Foundation and the Audrey and Albert Ratner Foundation all contributed funds to start Global Cleveland in 2011, with a focus on bringing in and helping immigrants of all races, colors and nationalities to Northeast Ohio.

Joe Cimperman, president of Global Cleveland, applauded the success of the organization, citing the New American Economy national rating score, which looks at 100 American cities in terms of how well they are doing in welcoming immigrants. When Global Cleveland first started, Cimperman said Cleveland was ranked 64th. This past year, he said the city was ranked 21st.

“Our inspiration comes from the people that we work with every single day,” Cimperman said. “Our goal has evolved from raising awareness of the value of welcoming newcomers, to creating and being a part of the conversation, to becoming an indispensable resource in the international community.”

Other honorees included Dr. Akram Boutros, president and CEO of the MetroHealth System who announced Nov. 29 he will retire Dec. 31, 2022, with the Albert B. and Audrey G. Ratner Community Leader Award; Cameron Fields, general assignment reporter at cleveland.com, with the Media Partners Award; Richey Piiparinen, director of urban theory and analytics at Cleveland State University, with the Mansfield Frazier City Builder Award; Melaak Rashid, director of development at Smart Development, with the Youth Leader Award; and Sergio Robles, assistant professor of instruction in marketing at Ohio University; and Tristan Wheeler, Cleveland Public Library project coordinator, with the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Learn More: Federation, Overseas, Israel, Advocacy