Between working full time as a senior asset management analyst at the NRP Group in Cleveland and being a father to daughters, Yakira and Orly, University Heights resident Ari Feiger still finds time to connect with and give back to the community he calls home.
Originally from Skokie, Ill., where he became a bar mitzvah at Congregation Or Torah, Feiger graduated from Ida Crown Jewish Academy in 2010 and earned an accounting degree from Yeshiva University in New York City in 2014. He and his wife, Shayna, who is originally from Beachwood, were living in New York before they moved back to Greater Cleveland. Now, their family attends Green Road Synagogue in Beachwood. Feiger also studies at Beachwood Kollel in University Heights.
Even though he’s not a native Clevelander, Feiger feels a call to build the community up. He is involved in the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Young Leadership Division, Partners Cleveland and the Community Beit Midrash. He’s also on a federation sub-committee, the community relations committee, and is co-chair of the dialogue initiative sub-committee.
“Cleveland has everything you’d want in a city on a macro-level,” said Feiger, 30. “Once you are more dialed in, the Jewish community is really strong. Being part of our community is the only way for it to advance and become stronger.”
When his family arrived in Cleveland, Feiger knew no one and saw YLD as the best way to meet people. His involvement only grew from there, he said.
“The first thing was to get to meet other young Jewish professionals, to me, that were similar but also very diverse,” Feiger said. “I also wanted to learn about the community. The federation is involved in so many aspects of life, not just in the Jewish community but also on a wider scale, as well.”
Calling Judaism “completely holistic” and permeating every decision he makes, Feiger said getting involved was a no-brainer. Both his parents and in-laws are mentors of his, as well as NRP Group CEO David Heller, who he looks up to “in a professional perspective but also a community perspective.”
Knowing how overwhelming it was when he arrived in Cleveland with no connections, Feiger said the next generation should get involved as soon as they can.
“My big thing for the next generation of young professionals (is) to get involved,” he said. “That is step one. Also, continue to network. You never know what relationship will lead you one way or open up a new world of thinking that you weren’t aware of. Lastly, show up to events. What helps make a community is when you host events and people actually show up and participate. Show up and be present.”
Receiving recognition for his community work isn’t the end goal but rather a call to action, Feiger said.
“This shows others that they can do something like this as well,” he said. “For me, this is a call for more responsibility. Something like this isn’t and shouldn’t be the end goal. I want to be able to reach out to other people and see if I can help them make a difference in other people’s lives too.”