Richard W. Pogue, longtime civic leader and lawyer, was honored with the Charles Eisenman Award, which is presented each year to a person or nonprofit who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the community, April 8 at the 115th annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
He said he’s worked with the Jewish community often through his career, noting his work with David Adler, partner at Jones Day, where Pogue was managing partner; Augie Napoli, president and CEO of United Way Greater Cleveland; philanthropist Morton Mandel; former Federation president Stephen H. Hoffman; and Albert Ratner, co-chairman emeritus of the former Forest City Realty Trust.
“Receiving the Eisenman award is a tremendous honor,” Pogue said. “I look over the names of prior recipients to this award and it’s a really impressive group of people.”
Pogue has been devoted to causes like advancing health care, social services, education reform, economic development and the arts. He’s held top leadership roles at the Cleveland Foundation, Business Volunteers Unlimited, University Hospitals Health System, Greater Cleveland Growth Association and The City Club of Cleveland among others.
Pogue’s son-in-law is Jewish and his daughter converted and is raising their children Jewish, which Pogue said makes him feel connected to the Jewish community. Through this connection, he’s become familiar with Jewish values, rituals and traditions. He said he sees the Federation achieving these values like tikkun olam, which is needed today.
“The work of the Federation and its counterparts is especially critical because I think it’s fairly well assumed that hatred and bigotry around the world seems to be rampant these days and the Federations advocacy in these areas of promoting tolerance and striving for social justice and supporting Israel as well is imperative,” he said.
During the “Great Cleveland Comback,” which Pogue said happened from 1980 to 1996, government officials worked with various companies and individuals from all walks of lives for the good of the community.
“I hope once again today, government, organizations and individuals from all backgrounds join together in the united mission to perform tikkun olam for Elie Wiesel reminds us that we all must avoid indifference, instead let us gain strength from our differences,” he said.
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