Judge Dan A. Polster Receives Prestigious Gries Family Award

Tags: Federation, Awards, Leadership

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Lynn-Ann Gries, Judge Dan A. Polster, and Sally Gries

Award recognizes individual’s impact on Cleveland communities

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland announced that Judge Dan A. Polster is the 2023 recipient of the Gries Family Award in recognition of his lasting impact in Cleveland’s Jewish and general communities. For more than 25 years, the Gries Family Award has honored individuals who have demonstrated extensive top leadership in Federation and other local Jewish organization activities, as well as significant leadership in Greater Cleveland’s general community. Polster, a senior judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, was presented the award at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland Board of Trustees meeting on May 9.

“It is with extreme gratitude and humility that I accept this prestigious award, and I commit to continuing to do what I can to improve our Jewish community and our general community so long as I am granted the good health to be able to do so,” Polster said. “Thank you to the Gries family and the nominating committee for choosing me for this award.”

Polster has been actively involved with Federation for more than 30 years. His leadership roles within the Federation include serving as a board member, vice chair, and nominating committee chair. He has also played a significant role in Federation’s overseas connections committee, serving on its executive committee and current chair of the Jordan Cross-Border Initiative.

In addition to his involvement with the Federation, Polster is a former board chair of Mt. Sinai Health Foundation and Siegal College of Judaic Students Educational Foundation, as well as a life member of Joseph & Florence Mandel Jewish Day School.

In the general community, Polster is a board member of Global Cleveland. He is also a mentor within the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s “3Rs” Program (Rights, Responsibilities & Realities) and a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

“Based on all of Judge Polster’s credentials of service in both the Jewish and general communities, it is my privilege to present this tangible recognition of his service,” said Marcia W. Levine, Gries Award Selection Committee chair and a past Gries Family Award recipient, who presented Polster with the award.

The Gries family was one of the first Jewish families to settle in Cleveland. The Gries Family Award recipient receives a handcrafted sculpture and includes a donation to a charitable cause chosen by the recipient. Polster designated his donation to both Mandel Jewish Day School and Cleveland Legal Aid Society.

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