Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman will speak at a community event in Cleveland for the first time at Partners in Torah of Cleveland’s third annual fundraising event Feb. 12. 

Lieberman will discuss “Faith and Freedom: My Life as a Jewish American Leader” during a dessert reception at 7:30 p.m. at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive in Mayfield Heights. 

Rabbi Pinchas Landis, education director of Partners in Torah, said the idea to host an annual fundraising event came from the desire to raise awareness about the organization. This year’s event is being done on an even larger scale, Landis said.

“We want to get 1,000 people to Landerhaven so that we can expose 1,000 people to Partners in Torah and show them what Partners in Torah is all about,” he said. 

Landis said Lieberman was chosen as this year’s speaker in hopes that he would appeal to those involved in Partners in Torah and also members of the Greater Cleveland Jewish community.

“We figured he was someone that would really help us to bring in a lot of people who aren’t yet involved and get them involved,” he said.

Lieberman was born in Stamford, Conn., and graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School in New Haven, Conn. In 1970, he was elected to the Connecticut Senate, where he served three terms as majority leader. Lieberman served as state attorney general from 1983 to 1989. He won election to the senate in 1988 and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. 

Lieberman was the Democratic Party’s nominee for vice president in the 2000 election, making him the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. 

During his re-election bid in 2006, he ran as a third party candidate. Lieberman retired from the senate in January 2013. 

“We look at him as a champion of the Jewish community and what it means to be a Jew in America and someone I think people in general rally behind,” Landis said. “Despite what your political beliefs may be, I think he’s someone people are very proud of.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit Partners in Torah. Landis said his goal is to be able to hire an additional staff member after the event in an effort to expand the organization. 

“We hope that people leave the event inspired by what one Jew can achieve and are inspired to get even more involved in the Jewish community as a whole and especially in Partners in Torah,” Landis said.   

The Cleveland Jewish News is the media sponsor of the event. 

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