Giving back can take many forms.
How one gives their time, talent and treasure is often dictated by personal preference, passion, time and where one sees the biggest needs – knowing well, there are more than one can ever address in a lifetime.
Some like to help others without seeking any credit, operating under the radar. Others like to call attention to all they do to benefit their community, potentially in the hopes that someone else might be inspired to give back. Some prefer to make a difference in a formal sense – with their money, or on a board for an organization to which they feel a special connection. Others might give their time whenever and wherever they can, dabbling in various areas, but always giving the best of themselves.
There’s no one way to do it correctly. However, all those selected for a Cleveland Jewish News class of 18 Difference Makers – more than 100 people from across Northeast Ohio since 2015 – have demonstrated some combination of giving their time, talent and treasure. They’ve found a way to channel their skills, experience and interests into addressing a pressing need in our community, and often beyond. Over the years since we created the 18 Difference Makers, there have been 600 nominations for the honor.
Reflecting on the 2019 class of 18 Difference Makers, diversity in change makers hasn’t skipped a beat. This class represents a variety of Jewish denominations, backgrounds, ages and professions. They include executive-level personnel, nonprofit leaders, attorneys, educators, a rabbi, a cantor and more.
A theme that will emerge as you read the honoree profiles is that change-making is as much a result of sheer hard work as it is personal passion for a cause.
For example, Milton Maltz first experienced hate as a 5-year-old – an experience that stuck with him for 85 years. As he’s gone on to become one of Northeast Ohio’s most successful business leaders, every step of the way he’s worked to fight hate at its root – whether by challenging authority and the status quo throughout his career, or inspiring a more tolerant next generation via the Stop the Hate essay contest. For those efforts and others led by Milton and his wife, Tamar, the couple is the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Another example is Dan Moulthrop, who was an early-2000s transplant to Northeast Ohio. In his relatively short time here, he’s made quite a loud voice for himself and his cause in advocating for free speech and open dialogue. Dan’s not only made it his professional mission, but also a personal fight.
All of the individuals celebrated in these pages have found their own ways to make things happen, and the Jewish and Northeast Ohio communities are the beneficiaries. I invite you to join us in honoring their efforts at the Cleveland Jewish News’ 18 Difference Makers Awards Ceremony Nov. 24 at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights.
Not only will we celebrate the giving of their time, talent and treasure, but also the many different ways one can do tikkun olam with their own flair. And over the last five years, we’ve likely gotten some ideas of our own.
Meet the 2019 Class of 18 Difference Makers
At 5 years old, Milton Maltz faced hate for the first time – an experience that has been indelibly etched in his mind, even 85 years later.
Kevin S. Adelstein is publisher and CEO of the Cleveland Jewish News and president of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company.