Justin Kadis

Justin, back right, competes in the 2019 Ride for the Living with his family in Krakow, Poland. 

Justin, 35, who works in business development at Federal Equipment Co. lists philanthropy as one of his main hobbies. A member of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, the Cleveland resident lends a hand to Friends of JCC Krakow, Ride For The Living, JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Cleveland Hillel Foundation. With Judaism at the core of who he is, Justin feels connected to his history and the Jewish community now more than ever.

What are your hobbies?

Philanthropy, traveling and eating, and I’ve been fortunate to occasionally combine them. Last year, I traveled with JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet to Morocco and Spain where I learned about the important work of our overseas partners, met some amazing people, and tried delicious tajines and tapas along the way.

What one Jewish experience of yours stands out over others?

My work as a JDC fellow at JCC Krakow was a life-changing experience. Using my marketing background to work on Jewish renewal in Poland has shaped who I am today. I have returned to Krakow each year for Ride For The Living. As we bicycle from Auschwitz to the JCC, we remember the victims of the Shoah and celebrate Jewish renewal.

Why did you choose Cleveland?

Cleveland is home. My family is here and it’s a great Jewish community.

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

Education. Where quality education is available for children, family life improves and a stronger workforce emerges. Excellent trade schools, community colleges and universities encourage economic growth from local entrepreneurs to large corporations. More opportunities are available with an educated workforce.

What nonprofit organizations do you affiliate with beyond donating?

Friends of JCC Krakow co-founder and board member; Ride For The Living co-founder and participant; JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet member; Jewish Federation of Cleveland board member; Cleveland Hillel Foundation board member and leadership development committee co-chair.

Do you have an Israel experience?

I have had many Israel experiences beginning with my bar mitzvah at the top of Masada and a summer studying at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Recently, I’ve been able to meet entrepreneurs, gain leadership skills and explore the culinary side of Israel.

What role does Judaism play in your everyday life?

Judaism is at the core of who I am. The values I’ve gained from being Jewish are a product of learning, volunteering, spending time with family during holidays and traveling to see Jewish communities around the world. I just returned from JFNA’s cabinet retreat in Toronto and I feel more connected to my chevre than ever before.

Who are your mentors?

My parents set a shining example for me and my siblings of the best way to engage on the issues we care most about. From serving on boards, committees and task forces to fighting and volunteering for education, social justice and equal rights, we’ve seen firsthand how to take on leadership roles and make a meaningful impact.

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

At first, I was surprised. It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for my involvement in a community that is known across the country for its strong leadership. I’m proud to be a part of this wonderful community.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Sports agent like Jerry Maguire.

Where and when was your bar mitzvah?

In 1997 at B’nai Jeshurun Congregation and in August in 1998 at Masada.

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…

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 …

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 hi…

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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