Cleveland Jewish Publication Co. honors those who make a difference

At a young age, Kevin S. Adelstein’s parents instilled in him the importance of giving back to those in need.

“To this day, they still both volunteer every single week at a Jewish nursing home, Menorah Park, in Beachwood,” says Adelstein, president, publisher and CEO at Cleveland Jewish Publication Co. “Because of their influence, it was really important to me. Frankly, it’s all I knew.”

As the only independent source of Jewish news and commentary serving Northeast Ohio, CJPC is home to five magazines that reach and serve both the region’s Jewish contingent of 80,800 and its 4.3 million residents at large.

“We are a for-profit business, but we are a community-owned media company,” Adelstein says. “So we really invest in the community through our recognition of community members that are giving back. That’s our purpose.”

Repair the world

Two programs stand out in this philanthropic effort: The Cleveland Jewish News’ 18 Difference Makers award and 12 Under 36: Members of the Tribe, an event to honor members of Cleveland’s Jewish population who are working on or enacting positive change through a local organization or association. The programs tie back to tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase that means “world repair.” It’s a notion of social action that all business leaders should share, Adelstein says.

“None of us operates in a bubble,” he says. “We have a tremendous responsibility and obligation as business leaders to look for, identify and embrace ways in which we can give back through time, talent or treasure.”

The 18 Difference Makers award program was launched five years ago to recognize people who have a made a difference in Cleveland’s Jewish community.

“You don’t have to be Jewish to be considered,” Adelstein says. “We’ve recognized a number of individuals who are not members of the Jewish community, but what they do really impacts Jewish Cleveland.”

Find ways to serve

Awards that recognize hard work are a big part of making a difference at CJPC. Companies that excel at giving back typically have robust dialogue between management and their employees.

“We talk to our employees all the time,” Adelstein says. “We have regular team-building exercises and meetings where we practice what we preach. We want employees to make suggestions and tell us what’s important to them so that we can look into those things and make a difference.”

Overcoming challenges

Cleveland Jewish Publication Co. has not been immune to the challenges faced by many media outlets in recent years, says Adelstein. The rise of anti-Semitism has created additional stress, but the company continues to forge ahead.

“It’s just being really thoughtful and considerate of how much we elevate our brand so that we don’t do anything to put anybody in harm’s’ way,” he says. “We have an obligation to the community in which we serve. Telling those stories and being out there front and center just reinforces the need for it.”