Tom Lockshin grew up with role models even he couldn’t believe he had. His father chaired every Jewish organization he could in Canton, including the Canton Jewish Community Federation, Israel Bonds campaign, Men’s ORT before it became known as just ORT, Jewish Committee on Scouting and was president of Shaaray Torah Synagogue. His mother was president of her Hadassah chapter and volunteered widely. The two of them frequently went on solidarity missions to Israel, including visits following the 1967 and 1973 wars.
When a 16-year-old Lockshin and his younger sister pooled their money to purchase an Israel bond at their synagogue high holiday campaign to follow in their parents’ example, his future interest in Israel Bonds was born, as Lockshin is the executive director of the Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds for Ohio and Kentucky.
“I’m following the legacy from my parents of giving back to the Jewish community and not just being pro Israel but actively trying to help make sure that Israel thrives,” Lockshin said. “Israel has an amazing culture – it’s known as the ‘start-up nation,’ and the inventions and innovation that come from Israel are changing and saving lives all over the world. Investing in Israel with Israel bonds feels like you’re part of that, and it’s a great feeling. It gives you meaning, and it makes you feel satisfaction having a profession like that.”
His lengthy history as a volunteer with Israel Bonds before coming into his position as Israel Bonds director in January 2006 has created a constantly burning passion to support the State of Israel. Through his work, he aims to pass on his fire to Jewish community members, foundations, organizations and philanthropies to invest in the Jewish state. He also works with non-Jewish organizations to create advocacy for Israel and will bring leaders of organizations like KeyBank and PNC Bank to Israel to show them what their investments accomplish. Other institutional investors include Cuyahoga County and the Treasurer of Ohio, who now hold $152 million in Israel bonds, the largest of any state in the United States. And Israel Bonds nationally just surpassed $1 billion in sales in the United States for the seventh consecutive year.
“Connecting people to Israel through Israel Bonds has been really important to me,” he said. “We’re really trying to connect the next generations to Israel by being an investor in an Israel bond. We’re not a charity – we’re an investment. That makes us unique in Jewish organizations in the world of raising investment in Israel. We focus on investment in the economy of Israel, and it gives me a good feeling to do that.”
Lockshin is honored to be able to help Israel with his career, but he also makes sure to go above and beyond in the local Jewish community to show his support as both an Israel Bonds director and as a Solon resident. He strives to participate in as many local Jewish events he can to show his support.
“There’s probably a blurring of ‘Tom the person’ and ‘Tom the Israel Bonds director,’ because I want to participate personally as well as professionally,” he said. “I care about the Jewish community personally, which then motivates me professionally. I feel like I’m making a difference through the personal and the professional efforts. People see that the Israel Bonds director is active in the community and involved and cares. So, I wear an Israel Bonds pin on my lapel proudly. I want to see our clients and I want to meet new people, but that’s because it’s not self-serving. It’s all for our mission of supporting Israel.”