Aaron, 35, has been a prominent voice on the Cleveland sports radio scene since 2006 and is on air host and producer at ESPN Cleveland. The 35-year-old Shaker Heights resident and member of Park Synagogue has had the good fortunes to have a front-row seat for five NBA Finals and one World Series. He regularly emcees at local Jewish and non-Jewish events.
What one Jewish experience of yours stands out over others?
I’ll never forget sharing a Torah portion with my dad at our synagogue in Denver on the 50th anniversary of his bar miitzvah. When he passed me the yad, I got chills.
If you were the mayor of Cleveland, what would be your first priority?
I’m a proud product of the Denver Public Schools and became comfortable behind a microphone on stage in high school. My main focus would be the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and music and arts programs there.
What nonprofit organizations do you affiliate with beyond donating?
This year, my radio station co-host Tony Rizzo and I worked with our teammates and fans to raise more than $25,000 in one day for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. We helped fulfill two wishes and we were amazed by the overwhelming support.
Do you have an Israel experience?
My wife Allie and I traveled with Rabbi Joshua Skoff and 50 fellow Park Synagogue congregants, ages 5 to 80, in summer 2016. We connected with the roots of our faith and now see many more familiar faces when we attend services on Shabbat and the High Holy Days. Plus, I ate two shawarma in one night on Ben Yehuda St. Is the plural shwarma or shwarmas?
Who are your mentors?
I attend class at the Tony Rizzo school of broadcasting every day. He’s a tremendous resource, guide and friend. Also, I’m lucky to have many others who help me navigate my career and personal life: Evan Cohen, Craig Karmazin, Sam Pines and Michael Symon.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
After my dreams of being the first Jewish NBA slam-dunk contest winner came crashing down, I decided I’d shift focus and spend my career behind the microphone.