Shoshana Dessler Jacobs to Receive Prestigious Irene Zehman Award

Tags: Federation, Women, Philanthropy, Awards, Video

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The Jewish Federation of Cleveland announced today that Shoshana Dessler Jacobs is the 2021 recipient of the Irene Zehman Volunteer Award. Each year, the Federation recognizes an unsung 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. Jacobs, who is the co-founder and executive director of Israel Medical Fund, a nonprofit supporting medical initiatives in Israel, will be honored at the Federation’s Gathering for Good event on December 1.

Jacobs’ work with Israel Medical Fund and its subsidiaries helps bridge the gaps in the Israeli healthcare system and provide life-changing medical care.

In addition to her work with the Israel Medical Fund, Shoshana serves as a board member for Jewish Family Service Association and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. She is a Women IN Philanthropy vice chair, a member of Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, and a member of the Wexner Heritage Program Cleveland 21 Cohort.

“It’s the most humbling feeling in the world,” Jacobs said. “For years, I’ve heard about the legacy Irene Zehman left behind. When I was notified that I was the recipient, I researched all the wonderful things she did. She started this legacy and I believe part of her legacy led into what Women IN Philanthropy is today. She was so incredible in all the work she did, and her entire life was about giving to others. So, to be able to receive an award that’s named after her is truly the greatest honor.”

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 Judith Wolkoff, an active volunteer with The Transplant House of Cleveland, Judi Kovach, Co-Founder and Chair of the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, and Mariely Luengo, founder of the West Side Community Food Co-op.

For more information about the Irene Zehman Award and Women IN Philanthropy, visit www.jewishcleveland.org or contact Rebecca Sattin at rsattin@jcfcleve.org or 216-593-2873.

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