Raquel and Michael Haas will receive the Jewish National Fund-USA’s prestigious Tree of Life Award for their contributions to the Jewish community, and the land and people of Israel.
The couple will be presented the award from JNF-USA during the Cleveland Tree of Life Award ceremony June 8.
“Raquel and Michael Haas have partnered with Jewish National Fund-USA for a number of years,” JNF-USA Director of Northern Ohio Mindy Feigenbaum said in a news release. “Their philanthropic investments have been vital in supporting critical environmental and nation building activities in Israel’s north and south. They are heavily involved in the Cleveland community and very in touch with their Judaism, so we wanted to honor them for all they do locally, nationally and overseas.”
The award is given in recognition of outstanding community involvement, professional leadership, and dedication to the cause of American-Israeli friendship with the devotion to peace and the security of human life.
The 8 p.m. June 8 virtual ceremony will feature an intimate dialogue with Emmy-award winning actor, director, producer, and best-selling author Henry Winkler and Academy-award winning actress, producer and activist Marlee Matlin. Winkler was in Cleveland in 2019 when the Cleveland Jewish News presented “An Evening with Henry Winkler.”
Raquel Haas co-chairs the parent leadership council for the Basser Center. She is also a member of the Lion of Judah Society at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, where she worked for more than seven years and helped to create a corporate sponsorship program.
Michael Haas is the global co-chair of real estate for Latham & Watkins. He also served on the board of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike and was a member of the UJA National Young Leadership Cabinet and of Leadership Cleveland.
“We are both so honored to be the JNF-USA Tree of Life Award recipients this year,” the Pepper Pike couple said in the release. “The values that JNF-USA cherishes mirror our values. It is a big picture organization that has withstood the test of time. JNF-USA doesn’t just plant trees. It cares about people with special needs. It cares about providing water to all in Israel. It cares about houses and parks. It funds agricultural and scientific research. It directs grants to medical and trauma centers. JNF-USA cares about connecting the next generation of people to Israel and so do we. It is with these shared values that we eagerly align ourselves with JNF-USA’s mission. We couldn’t be more excited to know that there’s a little bit of love from Cleveland being sent to Israel via JNF-USA.”
Event co-chairs are Rebecca Bar-Shain, Bart Bookatz, Barry Feldman, Michael Jacobson and Chuck Whitehill.
Publisher’s note: Barry Feldman is a member of the Cleveland Jewish News Foundation Board of Directors.