Roslyn Z. Wolf: An Inspiring Life

Tags: Young Adults, Awards

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Roslyn Wolf

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any kindness that I can show…let me do it now.”

This was a motto that Roslyn Z. Wolf, wife of Ambassador Milton A. Wolf, lived by. Together, the family lived a life of generosity and philanthropic good.

For many years, the Wolf family has acknowledged young leadership and volunteers through multiple awards such as the Amb. Milton A. and Roslyn Z. Wolf Young Campaigner of the Year Award, the Irene Zehman Volunteer Award, and the Roslyn Z. Wolf Cleveland-JDC International Fellows Program for young college graduates.

Education and leadership development was of highest priority to Mrs. Wolf, who grew up in Shaker Heights and went to Cleveland Heights High School. Graduating in 1946, she started attending college but dropped out two years later for marriage and motherhood.

“I didn’t want to be the only one in the family without a college diploma,” she said. Thirty-one years later, in 1977, Mrs. Wolf graduated with a B.A. in Art History from Case Western Reserve University.

As the ambassador’s wife she lived and travelled to different parts of the world and was inspired by the arts and culture of these places. She also witnessed the hardships of several underprivileged communities first-hand. She saw the plight of the Jews in need in Europe and Israel, and worked closely with Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union and Romania.

On returning to Cleveland in the eighties, Mrs. Wolf joined hands with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the community cornerstone that had helped change lives in Cleveland, Israel, and around the globe since the early 1900s.

She tirelessly volunteered with the Federation to help women, the elderly, and the disabled. A life trustee of the Federation, Mrs. Wolf served on a number of committees such as the Jewish Welfare Fund Appeal, Community Services Planning Committee, and the Holocaust Education Committee.

She also served on the boards for Federation partners, including Jewish Family Services Association (JFSA), Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau (JCB), and the National Council of Jewish Women, and played a vital role in providing relief and medical assistance to women and children around the world when Ambassador Wolf served as the President of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) from 1992-1996.

“The Roslyn Z. Wolf Cleveland-JDC International Fellows Program is a significant and tangible way to both honor Roslyn Wolf and affirm her practice of our sacred Jewish value, kol Yisrael areveim zeh le zeh (each Jew is responsible for one another),” said Charles A. Ratner, cousin, longtime friend, and Federation trustee.

The Federation is proud to partner with the JDC and offer this international fellowship in Mrs. Wolf’s name that provides young people a life-changing opportunity to explore the world while doing volunteer service. Read more about our past fellows.

For more information on how to apply, please visit: http://www.jewishcleveland.org/involved/yld/.

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