When Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, better known in the dance world as “Mr. Gaga,” ventured to Cuba the dancers of Malpaso Dance Company were somewhat apprehensive. Afterall, Naharin was known to be very demanding. But upon his arrival in Havana, the dancers found him to be very charming.
The Jewish Federation Cleveland recently traveled to Israel with a delegation of nearly 80 business leaders across Greater Cleveland. The mission is designed to show Cleveland leaders the beauty, history, religious and cultural significance, and complexities of Israel. By doing so, these leaders were able to create meaningful connections between one another and with Israel.
Thirty-nine esteemed Cleveland civic leaders are in Israel on the Adler Civic Leaders Israel Mission. This biennial mission, launched by Thomas and Joann Adler of Shaker Heights, was established through an endowment at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. The purpose is to expose leadership from across Cleveland to Israel’s innovative approaches to economic and community development, education and support of at-risk and disadvantaged populations, and to create opportunities for partnership with each other and Israeli counterparts.
General Mansour abu Rashid, chairman of the Amman Center for Peace and Development, left a lasting impression of hope on the Cleveland Jewish community when he visited in November 2018 to discuss “Israeli Jordanian Peace: How Did We Get Here & Where is it Going?” For the last 16 years, his message of peace has traveled the world, and most recently, caught the attention of the Vatican and Pope Francis.
Even though she grew up in East Lansing, Michigan – “enemy territory” as she calls it – Tamara Cofman Wittes headed south to Northeast Ohio to get her undergrad at Oberlin College. Her senior year, she wrote her thesis on the history of Jewish Cleveland, which sparked a successful career researching Jewish and Middle Eastern culture. Today, she serves as a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization in Washington, D.C.