Difference Makers inspire, motivate at right time

By Kevin S. Adelstein

With national tragedies dominating the news and reports of anti-Semitism on the rise, it’s fair to say the world is in need of repairing. Thankfully for Northeast Ohio, there are people in our community – friends, neighbors, colleagues, congregants and relatives – whose lives personify tikkun olam. 

At the Cleveland Jewish News, we call them Difference Makers, and it’s my privilege to acquaint you with the 2017 class. 

Like the Difference Makers before them, they help form the fabric of our community. Whatever their role – doctor, lawyer, judge, educator, business owner, board member, realtor, marketer, advocate or financial planner – they embody qualities such as leadership and compassion, often selflessly giving of their time, treasure and talent to better society. 

The CJN is proud to present just a fraction of what impels this year’s 18 Difference Makers to give back and do good. Inspiring? Motivating? Generous? Action-oriented? You bet they are! We’ll honor them, along with our Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, Norma Geller; our Civic Leadership Honoree, Darrell A. Young; and our Generation Award Honorees, Drs. Jeffrey and Lee Ponsky and Zachary Ponsky. 

We’ll hear their stories, and it’s my hope that each of them will prompt each of us to do our part to repair the world – our world – and leave things better than we found them for future generations.  


 Kevin S. Adelstein is publisher and CEO of the Cleveland Jewish News and president of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company.


 

When Debbie Hoffmann’s children were young and she decided to stop working, she began to feel a need to give back. Being “the kind of person w…

Michael Jacobson said he volunteers in the Jewish community for two reasons: he loves Israel and he loves Cleveland. As he finds himself in th…

Suellen Kadis said she has learned a lot about herself through her volunteer work and philanthropy. Time and again she has chosen to give back…

Joshua Kramer has been volunteering since high school, as Jewish communal participation has always been a big part of who he is. In high schoo…

As a lawyer, Marc B. Merklin said he feels volunteering is an obligation he has to the community. He said it’s important to create a community…

Marla Petti always thought if you give someone the chance to succeed, he or she will. Using this notion, Petti has lived her philanthropic lif…

Growing up, Scott Simon was shy. It was difficult for him to do anything in a public way, but on the plane to Israel at 21 years old, that all…

Roni Wallace doesn’t sit on the sidelines. Since she was a young girl, she always was signing up for clubs and organizations, a habit that led…

Sandra Zieve wasn’t always active in the community. She felt something was missing in her life when a close friend helped her realize the impo…