The year 2020 is undoubtedly one none of us, our children or our children’s children will ever forget. As we all know, the world is a vastly different place than it was just one year ago. And amidst so many changes to daily life – with new distances, worries and social injustices brought to light – the values of tikkun olam demonstrated in our Northeast Ohio Jewish community have brought us closer and strengthened our ties to one another.

As community storytellers at the Cleveland Jewish News, it is our responsibility and our duty, now more than ever, to tell the stories of those who have long led the way toward making our community better, as well as those tirelessly paving the way to a more equitable and healthy world.

Just like those honored before them, this year’s class of CJN 18 Difference Makers once again showcases a diverse group of professionals – executive-level personnel, nonprofit leaders, partners, attorneys, a physician, a rabbi and more. They exemplify the mensch-like qualities that define Difference Makers: community-mindedness, honor, integrity and generosity.

Joining the CJN in honoring these Difference Makers are our equally generous partners of the 2020 CJN 18 Difference Makers: Classic Lexus, COIT, McCarthy Lebit Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA, shark&minnow and Anthology of Mayfield Heights. We appreciate their support, and the support of so many others in and around our community whose messages appear on the pages of our special commemorative section that follows.

It is my privilege and honor to introduce and share the stories of the 2020 Cleveland Jewish News 18 Difference Makers. Join me in congratulating the 2020 class, both in these pages, and during our virtual celebration event, which you can register to “attend” Dec. 6 at cjn.org/18dm.

Let’s applaud these change agents among us, and come together as a community for better, healthier and more equitable times ahead of us.

The 2020 Class of 18 Difference Makers

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Rabbi Avrohom Adler’s move to Cleveland about 25 years ago was a turning point in his life.

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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 o…

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Soon after her son Eric was born and her daughter Hallie (a CJN columnist) was in kindergarten, Susan R. Hurwitz decided to try helping other …

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It was David W. Leopold’s father who bestowed him with his tenacious fight for social justice and giving back.

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Once, when Carol A. Marshall was ushering at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, she noticed a mother and daughter engaged in a conflict …

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David Millstone’s mother did not approve of his decision to practice at Squire Sanders & Dempsey in his first job out of law school.

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The first time Jim Newbrough toured Menorah Park will stay with him forever.

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Born in Saratov in the former Soviet Union, Miriam Pearlmutter has vivid memories of her relatives bringing food to her family as they prepare…

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On first impression, Earl Pike is a kind, caring and relatable person, clearly drawn to helping others.

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A mission to Cuba about a decade ago with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland spurred Dr. David M. Rosenberg to step up his efforts to address …

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Although Mitchell C. Schneider was born and raised in the area, the attorney-turned-real estate developer did not enter Cleveland’s Jewish com…

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JodiLyn Solomon’s daughter, Rose, attended an overnight summer camp for transgender children in New Hampshire in 2015 and 2016.

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Wendy Spitz is a Beachwood native whose genuine desire to give back to her hometown is evident during even a short conversation.

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Ali Stern is grateful to live in a place like Cleveland.

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When Beverley and Richard Uria met as teenagers through Johannesburg’ South Africa’s Jewish community, they had no idea that they would spend …

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William Wortzman secured a bakery job as an elementary school student and stayed until college.


Kevin S. Adelstein is Publisher and CEO of the Cleveland Jewish News and President of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company.

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