Kevin S. Adelstein

The Difference Makers who will gather with us Nov. 18 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights represent the first round of the best of the Jewish community of Northeast Ohio. It’s an honor and a pleasure for the Cleveland Jewish News to recognize these special people.

A singular honor goes to Harlan Diamond, the CEO of Executive Caterers. He will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

These exceptional people come from all walks of life.

They are doctors. They are lawyers. They are students. They are architects. They are activists. They are industrialists. They are teachers, social workers, specialists in special needs. They are developers. They are money managers. They are entrepreneurs.

Many combine categories. These are people of multiple dimensions.

They are of all ages, from the teen years to the late 80s. No matter their stage in life, they express tikkun olam. Repairing the world is their purpose.

Calling defines them more than profession, and their key calling is service – to the Jewish community and the communities that our unique and robust community interacts with.

When the Cleveland Jewish News conceived Difference Makers, the idea was to recognize community movers and shakers who bend the human arc toward grace. All these people do that. What’s so promising is they’re just the first wave.

These are people nominated by the community for their character and their accomplishments. When we launched this effort, the expectation was modest, for a “chai.” “Chai” means both life and the numeral 18 in Hebrew.

Difference Makers became “double chai” when the selection committee found itself poring over more than 100 nominations. Committee members eventually settled on these 36, whom you will meet on the following pages.

While the selection process was challenging, it was the right kind of challenge. It attested to the depth of Northeast Ohio’s Jewish community, and to the investment these Difference Makers make in that community.

This event is a celebration of that community, a community we all love and contribute to. These Difference Makers take the extra steps that make our community one of the most powerful and meaningful in the United States.

Join me Nov. 18 as we salute these extraordinary individuals. They enrich the fabric of the community and enhance all our lives. It’s a privilege to honor them.

Meet the inaugural class of Difference Makers at

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