Heather Schlang to Receive Prestigious Irene Zehman Volunteer Award

Tags: Federation, Women, Philanthropy, Awards, Video

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Recognized for “Highest Ideals and Practices of Volunteer Service”

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland announced today that Heather Schlang is the 2022 recipient of the Irene Zehman Volunteer Award. Each year, the Federation recognizes a Jewish woman or group of women who demonstrate the highest ideals and practices of volunteer service on behalf of the Jewish and/or general community. Schlang, a community volunteer and Chair of Share What You Wear (SWYW), a project of the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland (NCJW/CLE), will be honored at the Federation’s Women IN Philanthropy MaIN Event on December 1.

SWYW collects then distributes curated bags of clothing and toiletries to children in need or in crisis through school and agency social workers. Combining her work ethic, which developed as an Ohio farm girl, and a degree in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College, Schlang works to reengineer NCJW/CLE projects to meet community needs. Inspired by her hardworking parents and philanthropically minded in-laws, she sought a place where she could make a difference through direct community engagement. NCJW/CLE was an excellent fit because of the organization’s grassroots spirit and community connections.

"Share What You Wear is a passion project of mine because providing kids in need with clothing that is curated to their preferences boosts confidence and their sense of normalcy. When wearing an outfit that is comfortable and stylish, kids can go to school and feel like they're part of their community," said Schlang. "I am so honored to receive this award. The past award recipients have done phenomenal work and I'm humbled to be selected."

The Irene Zehman Award was established in 1980 by Roslyn Z. Wolf and Judith Z. Sherman, both of blessed memory, in honor of their mother, Irene Zehman, who devoted much of her life to giving back to the community through volunteering. Recent recipients of the award include Shoshana Dessler Jacobs, co-founder and executive director of Israel Medical Fund, Mariely Luengo, founder of the West Side Community Food Co-op, and Judith Wolkoff, an active volunteer with The Transplant House of Cleveland.

“Heather is focused on helping those who are vulnerable but does it in a way that is dignified, caring, and compassionate,” said Jennifer Cohen, Women IN Philanthropy chair. “That is what Women IN Philanthropy represents – helping others to make our community stronger.”

The MaIN Event will take place at Green Road Synagogue (2437 S Green Road, Beachwood) on Thursday, December 1. In addition to honoring Schlang, guests will hear from Carol Leifer award-winning comedy writer for Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, Saturday Night Live, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Hacks. For more information or to register, visit www.jewishcleveland.org or contact Rebecca Sattin at rsattin@jewishcleveland.org or 216-593-2873.

Learn More: Federation, Women, Philanthropy, Awards, Video