Family. A word that this Difference Maker, Jill Helfman, believes to be the most important gift that one can give. Helfman, a lawyer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, works with University Hospitals to give people a chance to have a family.
Last summer, Helfman co-chaired a soiree and benefit that raised $350,000 for University Hospitals’ Partnership for Families.
As chair of Partnership for Families, Helfman provides an opportunity for couples who would not otherwise be afforded the chance to have a family. The organization helps couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization after struggling to conceive naturally, cancer patients who hope for a future family, and couples who carry genetic traits. Helfman believes that there is no greater mitzvah in this world then to help deserving couples to have the family they so desperately want.
The agency also will pay for the freezing of eggs for woman going through chemotherapy. The agency provides an opportunity to pay for expensive procedures, allowing the parents to have the chance to have a family.
“There’s no better mitzvah then helping people have a family,” said Helfman. “We’ve helped more than 150 babies born through funding for our cause.”
Helfman still finds time to do mitzvahs other than helping create families in the community. She serves on the Park Synagogue Mitzvah Day committee.
She is also a member of Mogan David Adom, which helps raise money for Israel’s ambulance, blood-services and disaster relief.
“So it helps me to know that even from the United States, we can help to save lives in Israel,” she said.
“It feels great to help on the ground in Israel, especially when the tensions are so high,” Helfman added.
At a Glance
As a professional: Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Children: Jared; Justin; Lindsey
In the community: Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, Park Synagogue Mitzvah Day committee, chair of Partnership for Families at University Hospitals, American Friends of Magen David Adom