Federation to Honor Local Health Care Systems

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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News

Bob Greenberger

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland will present its highest honor for exceptional civic contributions to the staffs of Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth System and University Hospitals during its 117th annual meeting April 21.

The virtual event will also feature keynote speaker David Makovsky, the Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute in Washington, D.C., and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations.

Meeting co-chair Penny Greenberger described the reason behind bestowing the Cleveland-area health care systems’ staff with the 2021 Charles Eisenman Award for Exceptional Civic Contributions was a way to thank them for their life-saving work done in harmony of one another throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“They were basically selected because they collaborated so heroically to keep everybody in the Northeast Ohio area safe and informed about the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Greenberger, who’s co-chairing the event with her husband, Bob. “Their efforts affect everybody locally and if they have family elsewhere. We all realized how devastating and traumatic it was for the healthcare professionals, personally and professionally, to go through what they did on a day-to-day basis.”

Penny Greenberger

Makovsky was selected to present the keynote due to his background and extensive knowledge regarding the Middle East and the Arab-Israel conflict. He’s an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and from 2013-14, he served as a senior adviser to the special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Aside from penning a prolific number of Middle East peace process and Arab-Israel conflict essays, he was also the executive editor of The Jerusalem Post, diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s daily newspaper, Haaretz, and a contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.

Makovsky will speak about everything going on with Israel, from the election to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the recent situation where a uranium enrichment facility in Iran was exploded allegedly by Israel.

“He’s going to bring everybody up to date on the news and notes of what’s going on with Israel,” said Greenberger, a resident of Moreland Hills and a member of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike and Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Pepper Pike. “It should be very informative and helpful in understanding the situation of Israel’s current reality.”

Greenberger estimates 300 people to attend the event – which also includes an invocation by Park Synagogue’s Rabbi Joshua Skoff, remarks by Federation board chair J. David Heller and the annual election of Federation trustees.

Greenberger encouraged locals to attend for the opportunity to join in on a commemoration of those working together to make Greater Cleveland an area with strong Judaic ties and widespread education.

“The intent of the annual meeting is to celebrate the entire Jewish community,” Greenberger said. “It’s the best of both worlds; we’ve got the politics and what’s going on medically, which was totally consuming us. It’s just a real feel good event, and I think that people will see that everyone’s working together and then also be updated on the Middle East.”

If You Go

WHAT: Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s 117th annual meeting

WHEN: 5 p.m. April 21

WHERE: Virtual

TICKETS & INFO: The event is open to the public and free to attend. To register, visit bit.ly/3mIQSj8.

Learn More: Federation