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Aliki and Peter Rzepka will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Saltzman family will be presented the Generation Award at the seventh annual Cleveland Jewish News 18 Difference Makers reception and awards ceremony Dec. 9 at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights.

The Rzpekas have left their mark philanthropically on several Jewish organizations in Greater Cleveland.

Peter Rzepka was a founder of The Agnon School with just 11 students. Now known as the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School, it has an enrollment of hundreds.

In 2018, the school renamed their annual Presidential Award as the Peter and Aliki Rzepka Presidential Award. The award is given by the president of the board of trustees to a recipient who goes above and beyond for the school.

The Rzepkas have been members and stalwart supporters of the Jewish Community Center, first in Cleveland Heights, and now the Mandel JCC in Beachwood, since the mid-1950s. They were honored at the third annual Play at the J: A Gala for Grown-ups in 2018. The JCC is home to the Rzepka Fitness Center and the Aliki Rzepka Aquatics Center.

They also were some of the earliest backers of the Friendship Circle of Cleveland.

Peter Rzepka, a Holocaust survivor, started a building company in 1957, not long after he came to America. Along with his brother, Fred, they founded TransCon Builders, Inc. in 1972.

Peter and Aliki Rzepka are members of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike. They reside in Shaker Heights and Boca Raton, Fla.

The Saltzman family has owned and operated Dave’s Market for five generations and has remained in Cleveland despite other competitors abandoning the city for the suburbs. Dave’s has 13 locations. In 2020, it purchased two Lucky’s Market stores in Cleveland and Columbus and opened a third in Concord at the beginning of September.

Dave’s Supermarkets was founded in the late 1920s by Alex Saltzman at East 33rd Street and Payne Avenue in Cleveland. The store was named for Alex’s son, Dave, who succeeded his father in the business.

The family opened a new flagship store at the corner of East 61st Street and Chester Avenue in 2019. That same year, Dunham Tavern Museum honored the family at its annual soiree.

The locally owned family business, serving many communities within which we live, has given back to much of Northeast Ohio by not only refusing to abandon many of the neighborhoods others have deserted, but by Dave’s giving generously to those in need around them – be it merchandise or selling goods at cost.

Dave’s Markets owner Burton “Burt” Saltzman has led the family business. He gave the business to his sons, Dan and Steve in 2005, and today, the fifth generation of Saltzmans is in the family business thanks to the involvement of Burt Saltzman’s grandsons Aaron Saltzman and David Saltzman.

The family all reside in Greater Cleveland and belong to The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood.

The Rzepkas and the Saltzmans, along with the 18 Difference Makers who were announced last week, will be featured in a special commemorative section in the CJN’s Dec. 10 issue, as well as on cjn.org and across the CJN’s social media platforms.

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