The events of the last few months have presented challenges unprecedented to nearly every community around the world. Every day, it seems more apparent changes we’ve adapted to will be here to stay for some time, while some facets of daily life are likely forever altered.
While we all struggle to shift with the needs of the time, young adults in our Northeast Ohio Jewish community, like their peers near and far, have grown up through change and unrest. Those between the ages of 26 and 35 – the range of ages of individuals selected for this year’s Cleveland Jewish News and Classic Lexus class of 12 Under 36: Members of the Tribe – have already lived through 9/11 and its massive repercussions, the Great Recession that left uncertain job prospects, and now, a pandemic so severe most avoided imagining it possible.
In the future, this generation of Clevelanders may be known for their grit, adaptability and compassion for those in need, and this year’s class of 12 Under 36 honorees certainly exemplifies that description.
This year’s award recipients will join the ranks of those honored in 2019 and 2018, when we created the event to recognize Jewish professionals influencing the future of Northeast Ohio through professional and personal achievements. The number 12 represents the 12 tribes of Israel.
The diverse group includes leaders in a range of fields like technology and Jewish life, as well as those who work in media, nonprofit and academic worlds. The six women and six men selected are uniquely involved in their communities and have worked their way up in their chosen fields. As in the past couple years, we received a myriad of nominations for young people dedicated to making the world a better place – and in more ways than one.
It’s my honor to introduce you to these young leaders. Moreover, I’m excited for you to read more about them in our commemorative special section in the Aug. 21 issue.
The way in which we will honor them this year is also unique. Like so many before us who have had to modify or cancel tribute events due to COVID-19, this year’s class will be honored virtually Aug. 20 via a unique special celebration video featuring our honorees, in partnership with Classic Lexus and our supporting sponsor, KMK Promotional Sales, LLC. Additionally, we plan to honor the award recipients in a future in-person celebration once we can all be together safely. For now, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating them in spirit, from the safety of your own home.
With a future that holds many more unknowns than one likely imagined just months ago, I hope learning about the dedication of these young leaders will make you feel a little bit better about what it holds. More importantly, I hope their efforts inspire further acts of tikkun olam and all of us to reach higher toward our professional and civic goals, no matter our age.
Kevin S. Adelstein is Publisher and CEO of the Cleveland Jewish News and President of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company.