Ari Lewis

Ari Lewis with his mother, Kerri Lewis, and sister, Courtnie Lewis. 

Ari, 24, grew up wanting to play point guard for the New York Knicks. Though today he’s managing partner at the Green Block Group, Ari uses his imagination to navigate business or investment opportunities, all the while keeping his Jewish heritage at the forefront. A resident of Cleveland Heights, he said going on Birthright was an integral experience for him. Inspired by the sheer wonder he experienced while abroad, Ari wants to bring out the same potential in Cleveland.

What are your hobbies?

In my free time, I referee soccer and play squash. I have been refereeing soccer since I was 12 and have officiated hundreds of games at the high school, collegiate and semi-professional level. Squash is a new passion. I love the fast pace.

What one Jewish experience of yours stands out over others?

Going on Birthright. I made fantastic friends. It was my second time going to Israel. The first time I was just blown away by everything. The second time, I had a chance to enjoy the country and all it has to offer.

Why did you choose Cleveland?

I went to school at Case Western Reserve University, where I first experienced Cleveland. I loved the people, the culture, the sports teams, restaurants and world-class aspects like Playhouse Square and Cleveland Clinic.

If you were the mayor of Cleveland, what would be your highest priority?

Retaining and recruiting the best talent. The greatest cities in the world are built by talented people doing extraordinary things. We already have smart people doing awesome work here. It’s important for us to make sure we keep providing better and better reasons for them to stay and contribute to various aspects of life in Cleveland.

Do you have an Israel experience?

I played futsal in the Maccabiah Games in 2013. It was a special moment to represent the United States and walk into Teddy Stadium with over 30,000 Jewish people cheering.

Who are your mentors?

Lee Zapis, David Rhodes and Peter Martin. They help me navigate different aspects of life from accessing business or investment opportunities to finding balance as life pulls me in various directions at the same time.

What was your first reaction when you learned you were selected as a 12 Under 36 honoree?

I called my mom. Isn’t that what every good Jewish boy is supposed to do? It is a really great honor to be among such accomplished people, especially since I am the youngest honoree.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be the point guard for the New York Knicks. Admittedly, this dream was formulated when I was about 7.

Where and when was your bar mitzvah?

In 2007 at Temple Beth Torah in Westbury, N.Y.

Meet the honorees

Ben, 32, manager of public programs and “Stop the Hate” at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, feels Judaism plays a big part in his communit…

Joshua, 28, is an attorney at McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA. Whether he’s playing tennis, working out or spending time with …

Shoshana, 35, wanted to be a foreign diplomat or a doctor. But as the co-founder of Israel Medical Fund, the Congregation Alexander congregant…

David, 28, a litigation associate at Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, incorporates Judaism into every facet of his life. The values instilled in h…

Justin, 35, who works in business development at Federal Equipment Co. lists philanthropy as one of his main hobbies. A member of B’nai Jeshur…

Ethan, 32, is CEO and president at MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, and loves spending time with his three daughters. Ot…

Kristin, 26, is a member of Temple Israel. Finding her niche as a law clerk at the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office, the Akron resident does …

Gabrielle, 31, is associate counsel in the office of general counsel at Case Western Reserve University. Growing up in Cleveland and later lea…

Alina, 27, is a member of Jewish Family Experience and Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple. Professionally, she’s the national industrial engineer f…

Rebecca, 27, is social media manager of Hillel International. A resident of Cleveland Heights, The Temple-Tifereth Israel member said her pare…

Jeremy, 35, grew up wanting to be a mathematician, a classical pianist and a rabbi. Though he’s an attorney at Spangenberg, Shibley & Libe…

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