Reneé Chelm Receives 2022 Charles Eisenman Award
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The Jewish Federation of Cleveland announced at the 118th Annual Meeting on June 9 that Reneé Chelm has been named the 98th recipient of the Charles Eisenman Award, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s highest civic honor for outstanding contributions to our community.
“Reneé Chelm is the Jewish leader version of a triple threat,” said Erika B. Rudin-Luria, Federation president. “She is smart, she’s engaging, and she’s passionate. There is no doubt in my mind that we are a stronger Jewish people and Jewish community because of her.”
Chelm has committed and invested in the work of various organizations across Cleveland for many years. She currently serves on the boards of the Mandel Foundation, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, The Myers Foundation, the YWCA of Cleveland, the Women’s Committee of the Cleveland Museum of Art and various Supporting Foundations of the Jewish Federation. A graduate of the Mandel Leadership Course, Chelm also completed the two-year Florence Melton course at the Siegel College of Jewish Studies.
Chelm was the first woman to be named General Chair of the Federation’s 2006 and 2007 annual campaigns. Together with the Fall 2006 Israel Emergency Fund Campaign, she was instrumental in Cleveland raising over $80 million in commitments from the community’s 14,000+ donors over that two-year period.
In 2013 she was nominated to the position of board chair of Federation, only the third woman to hold this position in the 119 years the Federation has existed. She is a past board member of the Jewish Federations of North America board and National Women’s Philanthropy board. Throughout her tenure with the Federation, she has championed advancing women to leadership and institutionalizing outreach to interfaith families.
“I’m incredibly honored to be included on the list of recipients,” said Chelm. “I admire so many of the people and the organizations that have won the award in the past, so to be included on that list is just an incredible honor.”
In addition to the presentation of the Charles Eisenman Award, the annual meeting featured remarks by Rabbi Michael Schudrich, chief rabbi of Poland, as well as recognizing outgoing board chair J. David Heller, and an election of Federation trustees.