The 2020 class of 18 Difference Makers

The nomination form described Difference Maker Susan Blair as wearing many hats in different organizations like Hadassah and Jewish Family Services – where she works as a volunteer coordinator.

The nomination form says Toby Brief, “lives the mission of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society: to collect and preserve the history of the Jewish people of Columbus and Central Ohio; create a society concerned with the past, present and future; and enlighten the membership of the society,…

According to the nomination form for Carol Glassman, “Carol has been a passionate Tifereth Israel member, attending classes and services regularly, as well as serving on the board of trustees. Within the community, she co-chaired our Spotlight fundraising event this year honoring (Cantor Jac…

In addition to being senior rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Rabbi Avi Goldstein, “helped with volunteers (at) homeless shelters, and inspires his congregation to give to (Columbus) Torah Academy and the Columbus (Community) Kollel, and has personally been responsible for bringi…

According to Ron Greenbaum’s nominator for the Columbus Jewish News 2020 class of 18 Difference Makers, “Ron selflessly mentors scores of young people with valuable lessons he has gained throughout his career. He inspires the entire community to embrace children with special needs and to emp…

Described in the nomination form for Benjamin Kanas, the 2020 Ohio State University graduate “led the fight against BDS on campus at OSU and helped introduce non-Jewish students to Israel via The David Project. Benjamin is very active with AIPAC, staffing for the president and CEO and execut…

The form nominating Ira Owen Kane describes him as “one of the most astutely and compassionately committed contributors to the Jewish people that I have ever met as a rabbi.”

When nominating Brett Kaufman as a Difference Maker, his nominator said, “In all (Kaufman’s) endeavors, he couples development with wellness, sustainability, innovation and philanthropy.”

The nomination form for Inna Kinney reads, “Inna has successfully created a unique organization that invests in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change.” Referring to Economic and Community Development Institute, “as one of the top SBA microloan intermediaries in …

According to Joel Marcovitch’s nomination form from a colleague, “Joel has made a tremendous impact on the entire Columbus Jewish community since he started in his role 18 months ago. This was especially seen at the onset and throughout the coronavirus.”

The nomination form for Heather Pliskin reads, “Heather’s quiet demeanor does not hold back her passion for giving back to the Jewish community. ” Moreover, it specifically noted her years of service to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus. “The secret ingredient of her value in m…

According to Liz Plotnick-Snay’s nominator for the Columbus Jewish News’ 18 Difference Makers, “Perhaps Liz’s greatest contribution to the Jewish community has been organizing the volunteers of Temple Israel to the food pantry at Hilltop Community Church. This is TI’s greatest effort at soci…

According to Garett Ray’s nominator for the Columbus Jewish News’ 18 Difference Makers, “he exemplifies the Yiddish word used to describe a person who is righteous with integrity and compassion for other human beings – ‘a mensch.’”

The nomination form for Brian Schottenstein notes the Difference Maker is treasurer of The Ohio State University Hillel board, a JewishColumbus board member and LifeTown Legend award winner. This year, he raised “over $500,000 for the Chabad house in New Albany and (volunteered) his time to …

In the nomination form for Neal Shapiro, a community member described Shapiro as a, “lifetime member of Agudas Achim synagogue, president of (its) brotherhood, (recipient of the) Flowers to the Living Award (and) chairman of Shevra Kadisha,” as well as an “excellent husband and father.”

When nominating Jessica Topolosky for the Columbus Jewish News’ 18 Difference Makers class of 2020, the nominator said what stood out about Topolosky was that she, “helped start High Street (at Congregation Torat Emet) in 2014, and ended up having more than 200 young Jewish adults for servic…

According to Dr. Philip Weinerman’s nomination form, “Philip has directed his efforts to improve the Columbus Jewish community and make it a more welcoming place for observant families.”

According to the nomination form, when Mark H. Weinstein retired from a public service career, he began dedicating his life to the Franklin County Jewish community, specifically serving as a chaplain, seeing hospice patients and visiting Jewish residents at local long-term care facilities.

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Last year when the Columbus Jewish News introduced its 18 Difference Makers awards in Central Ohio, we knew tikkun olam and creating better opportunities for one another were long-held values in the local Jewish community.

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