What are your hobbies? While I enjoy various kinds of sports, my favorite one is definitely soccer. I have loved playing and watching soccer since I was a little kid. It is always amazing when I get a chance to watch Real Madrid, my favorite soccer team, play live. Additionally, I like to cook and dine in local restaurants, especially when traveling.
What one Jewish experience of yours stands out over others? I have been fascinated with klezmer music, specifically with its history and development. I try to incorporate at least one composition that has klezmer influence for my recitals. The audience enjoys listening to klezmer music and it brings me a great sense of pride and joy that I get to perform the musical genre that has shaped the Jewish culture.
Why did you choose Cleveland? Cleveland has always been a special place for me and I often call it my second home. At first, I was a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music for six years. After finishing my studies, I moved away from Cleveland for a few years before coming back here in 2017. I was extremely happy to be offered a teaching position at The University of Akron.
If you were the mayor of Cleveland, what would be your highest priority? I would work tirelessly to improve the educational system. I believe it is vital for everyone, with no exceptions, to have access to an excellent education from a young age. A strong and fundamental education helps people to broaden their intellectual horizons, it provides people with unique opportunities and helps us understand the world better.
Do you have an Israel experience? Most of my family lives in Israel, including my grandmother Faina Veigman. I have visited that amazing country many times since I was 10 years old. I especially love exploring Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where I get to experience different types of cultures, cuisines and walk through some of the most ancient and most beautiful places on earth.
What role does Judaism play in your every-day life? It plays an integral role in my everyday life. Jewish customs, religion and traditions have helped me shape my views and understanding of the world around us. Whether it is attending culture enrichment classes, giving tzedakah or gathering with family and friends for the holidays, Judaism will always be a compass in my everyday life.
Who are your mentors? Most importantly, I always look up to my mother, Rimma Golovina. She has been my biggest supporter. I had studied at CIM under the guidance of Franklin Cohen, principal Clarinet Emeritus of TCO and he has been an amazing support all these years. Rabbi Ephraim Nisenbaum at the Waxman Torah Center -Jewish Learning Connection has been a wonderful spiritual mentor to me.
What Jewish youth groups were you involved in? I was a member of Hillel when I was growing up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I was also a soloist for the Jewish Youth Chamber Orchestra that we had at JCC.
What was your first reaction when you learned you were selected as a 12 Under 36 honoree? I could not believe it at first. I felt extremely honored to be selected as one of the 12 Under 36 honorees.
What did you want to be when you “grew up”? I always wanted to be a professional musician growing up. I started to learn music when I was 6 years old and I have been enjoying the ride ever since.
What name do you have painted on your dream boat you dock at the yacht club in Lake Erie? Bravissimo!
You’re a professional athlete and just sign your first major contract. What’s the first big expenditure you make? Tikva – an organization that rescues Jewish kids.
What nonprofit organizations do you affiliate with beyond donating? Tuesday Musical Association – member, board of directors and artistic planning committee; chair, members programs committee. TMA brings the world’s best classical music and musicians to Greater Akron and Northeast Ohio. International Clarinet Association - member. ICA is a community of clarinetists and clarinet enthusiasts from around the world.
Meet the honorees
Doug, 33, is a member of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple and resides in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.
Jamie Collins, 28, is a member of the Temple-Tifereth Israel and resides in Cleveland Heights.
Joseph (Yoey), 29, is a member of Young Israel of Greater Cleveland and Green Road Synagogue and resides in Beachwood.
Rachel, 30, is a member of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation and resides in Cleveland Heights.