Nearly 70 Clevelanders Meet Up in Israel

January 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Posted in Voices from Israel | Leave a comment
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“I’m so glad that even though I left Cleveland, Cleveland didn’t forget about me!” – Sarah Jaffe, Clevelander spending her Gap year in Israel

Close to seventy young people from Cleveland are spending a year in Israel on a wide variety of gap year and post-college programs. The Jewish Federation of Cleveland in conjunction with Akiva held a dinner at the end of December to connect and hear from these young people. Over 25 young people gathered at a Café in Jerusalem over salads and pasta. We learned how people are spending their time in Israel and brainstormed about how the Federation can enrich their time in Israel. It was fun to see familiar faces and enjoy a delicious dinner. The night ended with coffee, hot chocolate, cake, and hugs.

The Federation is beginning to explore ways we can support these young people while in Israel. If you or your child recently returned from a gap or post-college program in Israel, or would like to get involved with this initiative we would like to hear from you. Please be in touch with Ilanit Gerblich Kalir, Senior Associate in International Operations at


January 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Posted in Press Releases | Leave a comment

Volunteer at Super Sunday, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s fun-filled, family-friendly phone-a-thon in support of the 2011 Campaign for Jewish Needs.  This year, the event will be at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s new Mandel Building, 25701 Science Park Drive in Beachwood – on February 27, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Super Sunday is the annual community kick-off of the Federation’s Campaign for Jewish Needs, which helps individuals and families in Cleveland, Israel and around the world through a network of local, national and international social, educational and humanitarian organizations.  Children’s activities are from 1:30 to 4 p.m., and kosher food is provided throughout the day.

Donors will be able to double the value of their pledges when KeyBank matches new and increased pledges made on Super Sunday.

Co-chairs of Super Sunday are Lara & Ronnen Isakov, Loren & Keith Israelstam and Meg & Jon Ratner.  Co-chairs of the Community Campaign are Helen & Joseph Feldman, Karen & Ira Levinsky and Sandy Seiger.  Gary L. Gross is general chair of the 2011 Campaign for Jewish Needs and Michael Siegal is board chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.  Sponsors of Super Sunday are KeyBank (Gold) and Patrons – Cleveland Jewish News and Contempo Cuisine.

To volunteer, for more information or to reserve child care, visit, e-mail or call 216.593.2909.



“Expect Respect-Bring a Teen You Care About”

January 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jewish Family Service Association’s Families at Risk Advisory Committee, in association with Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland present “Expect Respect-Bring a Teen You Care About”.  

“Expect Respect: Bring a Teen You Care About” flyer

When: Tuesday February 8th from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm

Where: Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Mandel Building

25701 Science Park Drive, Beachwood

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This is an interactive seminar for families with teens. You and your teen will learn:

  • The warning signs of unhealthy teen dating relationships
  • How abuse escalates in the cycle of abuse
  • Culturally sensitive responses to dating violence and abuse
  • How to help a friend or loved one who may be a victim
  • How to get help
  • Talk with community professionals and survivors of teen dating abuse

The event is free and open to the public. Register on-line at For details, call 216-378-3420. Donations of paper products, grocery and gas gift cards encouraged.

 Additional partners include National Council of Jewish Women, ASIA, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Domestic Violence Center, Bellefaire SAY, and Jewish Women International


January 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Press Releases | Leave a comment

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland named Eliana LeVine recipient of the 2010 Bennett and Donna Yanowitz Leadership Award, which she received at the Federation’s Board of Trustees meeting on January 11.

The Yanowitz Award is presented annually to a leader in the community, 40 or younger, who has clearly demonstrated commitment, involvement and leadership in the Cleveland Jewish community.  Established in 1996 by Bennett and Donna Yanowitz, it is one of the Federation’s top awards for general leadership.

About the recognition, LeVine said, “I’m fortunate to have a happy, fulfilling life and it is important to me to always remember that not everyone is as fortunate as I am.  Living in a community that makes it easy to give my time and energy where it’s needed and to organizations that have meaning to me is something I don’t take for granted and something I am proud of.  I am glad to be part of a community that emphasizes the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and I appreciate being recognized for my contributions to the Jewish community and those in need.”

At the Federation, LeVine was a volunteer with the Chaplaincy Task Force.  She was the programming chair for the Young Leadership Division Board and a co-chair of Super Sunday in 2009.  She also served on the Department of International Operation’s Community Builders Subcommittee.  As a Jewish Volunteer Network Super Volunteer, LeVine coordinated the 2009 Christmas Day volunteer project throughout Greater Cleveland.  She also organized the recruitment and scheduling of 200 volunteers for the 2010 Summer Feeding Program that provided free lunches for Cleveland children, and will serve in the same capacity again in 2011.

“Eliana is a role model and a trusted voice,” said Federation Board Chair Michael Siegal.  “Her dedication and energy are an inspiration to others.  She contributes to our community as a leader and as an active volunteer.  Our community benefits greatly from her wide-ranging contributions and commitment to tikkun olam, making the world a better place.”

In addition to all her roles at the Federation, LeVine is a member of the board of trustees of The Agnon School.

As the award recipient, LeVine is invited to be a member of the Cleveland delegation to the annual conference of The Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella organization for federations nationwide, where over 3,000 Jewish communal leaders will convene.  She resides in Shaker Heights with her husband, Joshua Polster, and their three children.

L-R: Donna Yanowitz, Eliana LeVine and Bennett Yanowitz


JFSA Announces New Director of Older Adult Services

January 13, 2011 at 11:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eileen L. Yates, M.P.A., Director, Older Adult Services, JFSA Care At Home

Jewish Family Service Association announces the appointment of Eileen L Yates, M.P.A., Director, Older Adults Services in JFSA Care At Home, the agency’s home health care division. Yates brings over 15 years experience working in the field of aging and has worked in a variety of settings including education, applied research and long term care. In her role, she will oversee the agency’s Holocaust Survivor Support Program, Lifeline personal emergency response system, Home Delivered Meals program, Friends Indeed, a home management assistance program.

“I’m looking forward to working with JFSA staff because the support that we provide fills a strong and growing need for older adults to remain independent in their homes. Community-based care is the direction that health care is moving and JFSA is a leader,” Yates says.

Prior to JFSA, Yates was Director of the Center for Aging Initiatives at Cuyahoga Community College. She serves on several boards, including the Cleveland Area Alzheimer’s Association and the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education.

Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland, a private non-profit organization, serves to strengthen families and individuals in Northeast Ohio. Guided by traditional Jewish values of communal responsibility and social justice, JFSA is committed to enhancing every individual’s ability to thrive in our community. For more information on services, go to

JFSA YouthAbility program on a mission to help Yemin Orde

January 10, 2011 at 10:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

YouthAbility members will hold a benefit performance of their new play “Believe to Achieve” on January 18th at 7:30 p.m. in the Beachwood High School cafeteria. Donations to help rebuild Yemin Orde, the youth village destroyed by the Israeli forest fire, will be accepted. Cleveland native Bob Voturba, a national speaker, will talk about the power of volunteering prior to the performance around 7:15 p.m.  Contact Heidi Solomon for details at 216.378.3434.

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