2022 18 Difference Makers

The High Holy Days provide us with the opportunity to reflect. We consider how we act, the behaviors we have toward others in our community and we reflect on how to improve ourselves and our communities. For some, it’s a reset or reaffirmation of our spiritual goals and commitments. In this time of reflection, we at the Cleveland Jewish News traditionally, for 8 years now, seek to highlight individuals who have done so much to better our community and the world during the prior year. They are making their voices heard in creating a better community for each of us. A better place to live, work, pray and a better place to play. That makes a difference for all of us. They are the CJN’s 18 Difference Makers.

We selected the 2022 class of 18 difference makers from a range of fields, each of whom is making a difference in their own way. This year’s Difference Makers include community volunteers, religious leaders, doctors and CEOs. What they all share is a dedication to tikkun olam, or to repairing the world through their kindness and selflessness.

This year’s Difference Makers include individuals who have dedicated their time and efforts to both secular and religious education to help the next generation to grow and thrive. Others have dedicated their time to helping vulnerable populations receive help and essential resources by providing clothing and food to those in need.

Other honorees have worked tirelessly to provide health care to community members, as well as to ensure individuals are informed about potential health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Yet other nominees have raised money to fight cancer, or sought to make the world a kinder place with the belief that doing so will provide a bridge between differences and reduce polarization in our nation. Others have offered free legal counsel to nonprofits throughout the region, worked to bring business to the area or taken steps to ensure a healthier environment for the next generation.

What’s more, this year’s honorees do not only include members of the Jewish community. One honoree, while not Jewish, is making a tremendous difference by dedicating time to preserve the memories of and lessons from the Holocaust to help prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

The fact that there are so many worthy honorees from such a diverse range of sectors not only speaks to their own good works, but to the kindness, decency and generosity of the Northeast Ohio community. I am proud to introduce these remarkable individuals to you here.

2022 class of CJN 18 Difference Makers

Rebecca Bar-Shain, Certified Financial Planner/Partner, Cedar Brook Group

Julia DiBaggio, Program Director, Ohio-Israel Ag & CleanTech Initiative, The Negev Foundation

Rebekah Dorman, Founder/Principal, Kadima Consulting LLC

Aaron S. Evenchik, Partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP

Rabbi Yossi Freedman, Director, Downtown Chabad

Robert T. Glickman, Managing Principal, McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA

Len Gold, Retired Senior Cost Accountant, BASF Construction Chemicals

Todd E. Gurney, Partner, The Eisen Law Firm Co., L.P.A.

Stewart Kohl, Co-CEO, The Riverside Company

Susan Krantz, Partner, Zinner & Co.

Eliana J. LeVine, Community Volunteer

Andrew Mizsak, Principal Consultant, Main Street Consultants

Andrew E. Randall, President and CEO, Cleveland Private Trust Company

Alan Rosskamm, Community Volunteer

Heather Schlang, Volunteer, National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland

Dr. Daniel I. Simon, President, Academic and External Affairs and Chief Scientific Officer, Ernie and Patti Novak Distinguished Chair in Health Care Leadership at University Hospitals Health System; Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Jim Strassman, President, Strassman Insurance Services

Neil M. Tramer, Partner, Tramer, Shore & Zwick

A Generation Award and Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at a later date.

The 2022 class will be featured in the Cleveland Jewish News’ Dec. 9 issue as well as on cjn.org and Facebook. It is also our pleasure to present these awards with co-presenting sponsors Classic Lexus and McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA; our supporting sponsors the Feldman-Wehn family, shark&minnow and Chuck Whitehill; Generation Award sponsor Krause Family Foundation; cocktail sponsor Cleveland Jewish Funerals; and venue sponsor Park Synagogue. They will help us celebrate our honorees during the awards celebration at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 at Park Synagogue East at 27500 Shaker Blvd. in Pepper Pike.

Please join us for a festive evening in recognizing those who are truly making a difference in Northeast Ohio’s vibrant Jewish community.


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

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