Jerry Zahler

Jerry Zahler, owner of Zahler Realty, works as a “behind the scenes kind of guy” to make his difference in our community.

“He does the dirty work that no one else wants to do,” said his daughter, Janet Baum said. “He works on the underbelly of projects since he’s a doer for the challenging aspects in order to create a better community.”

Zahler recently spent his time and money on the merger of Cedar Road Synagogue and Sinai Synagogue. The merger created what is now Oheb Zedek-Cedar Sinai Synagogue.

The merger wouldn’t have been a possibility without the ideas and monetary support from Zahler. His initiative created a Modern Orthodox shul that aims to merge social responsibility with values resonated from Torah.

Even more recently, Zahler has aimed to repair the crumbling Jewish cemeteries throughout Cleveland.

“I went to the Federation and explained that these are our cemeteries,” said Zahler. “The Federation realized that no one would help if they didn’t.”

With a lack of a large Jewish population near the cemeteries, they’ve been allowed to slowly disintegrate.

The Federation has now launched a cemetery preservation campaign to fund the improvements for Jewish cemeteries. The goal of the campaign is to raise at least $3.5 million for the endowment of annual maintenance necessary for local cemeteries.

At a Glance

Age: 88

As a professional: Zahler Realty

Spouse: Iris

Children: Janet Baum, Warren

In the community: Jewish

Federation of Cleveland, Friendship Circle of Cleveland

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