Charles Daroff quickly discovered that if he could combine his well-honed skills as a real estate lawyer with his long-time love for helping others, he could make a lasting impact on the community.
He has extended his legal services as a pro bono advisor to B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike and the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in Beachwood. He has served as an attorney and advisor for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and a number of its affiliated agencies.
In addition, Daroff has been a board member and executive committee member for B’nai Jeshurun and a board member for the Mandel school, all as a way to extend his professional expertise outside of the office.
“Becoming involved in the Jewish community and giving back where I can is extremely rewarding and fulfilling,” he said. “The work that I’ve done for multiple Jewish organizations continues to reinvigorate my sense of pride in being Jewish and part of a bigger community. What I try to do is share my knowledge and know-how to help make those organizations stronger and more vibrant.”
Daroff’s community-centric values stem from ones taught by his parents, Bob and Jane Daroff, at an early age. The values range from helping one another to the planet as a whole.
“Growing up, my parents instilled in me and my brothers a recognition that we all have an obligation to be involved in the world around us and try to make the world a better place; I’ve worked very hard in doing so,” Daroff said. “This is just something that is so important: give back to our fellow mankind, the community and the world.”
On top of providing his legal services and taking on various positions with local Jewish organizations, Daroff is also a supporter of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces following a mission to Israel with Ohio’s chapter of FIDF in November 2019. His trip led him to becoming a contributor to IMPACT!, an FIDF scholarship program that supports combat soldiers from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Of his many cherished community-forward efforts, Daroff considers working as the Federation’s real estate lawyer representing the organization during the purchase of its Beachwood headquarters and sale of its previous downtown Cleveland property in the late 2000s as two of his greatest professional highlights.
“That was a wonderful experience, and I’m so proud and humbled to have been entrusted with such an important project,” Daroff said. “Working with the professional and lay people at the Federation in that process is something I’ll never forget. These opportunities, whether it’s representing the Federation on those deals, or acting as a legal advisor to my synagogue, Mandel school or other organizations, enabled me to marry my professional work with charitable work.”
His various work for B’nai Jeshurun, the Mandel Jewish Day School, the FIDF, the Federation and Federation-affiliated agencies gives Daroff the ability to return the gesture to the places that have bestowed so much to him and others around him.
“In the case of my synagogue, I could give back to a place that I relied on very much,” Daroff said. “In the case of these nonprofits, they’re organized to help the Jewish community – communities I’m a part of and feel very connected to and bonded with.
“I think it’s just our obligation. We’re taught that one of the most important principles of Judaism – pikuach nefesh – that preservation of human life is amongst our highest goals. This is a way for me to try to help other people.”
For years to come, Daroff hopes to push forward in his work supporting the Jewish community, with a particular emphasis on the FIDF.
“COVID has really impacted the community and forced us all to realize what’s most important,” Daroff said. “To me, now more than ever, families, colleagues, clients and neighbors will become a top priority, as they should for us all.”