On Friday, April 16th, AJC Cleveland presented its 2020 Isaiah Award for Human Relations to the Greater Cleveland Foodbank. Almost 100 guests joined virtually for the morning’s celebration. In his introduction, Isaiah Chair David Hexter shared how “the Greater Cleveland Food Bank stepped up in a major way over the past year distributing food to those in need. They continue to build bridges amongst communities, providing the sustenance to encourage people to move on in their lives and assist Greater Cleveland in getting back to functioning and thriving as a community.”  

In what has now become a tradition, the morning’s program included a thoughtful and profound keynote discussion, “Building Bridges, Strengthening Community.”  This year, Regional Director Lee C. Shapiro moderated an important conversation on racism and racial in-equity with two of Cleveland’s most trusted leaders, Margaret Mitchell, President & CEO, YWCA Greater Cleveland and Marsha Mockabee, President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Cleveland. Both Margaret and Marsha shared poignant insights on racism, racial in-equity, racism as a public health crisis, allyship, and so much more.  While speaking about allyship, Margaret expressed how, “AJC has been an incredible partner, an incredible advocate. The work of the American Jewish Committee has always been focused on raising and elevating humanity and exposing man’s inhumanity to man. We must continue to elevate those organizations and bring others along.  Allyship is incredibly important.” 

For more than 55 years, AJC Cleveland has presented its prestigious Isaiah Award for Human Relations to outstanding organizations who meet their mission by building bridges of understanding and working to improve our community.  The Isaiah Award was created by visionary leadership at a time when Jews did not have a place at the important tables in our community. This award allowed AJC Cleveland to learn more about what community organizations were doing to improve the lives of their neighbors, while simultaneously allowing AJC Cleveland to share a little bit about the Jewish community and their work. Click here to look through past recipients and get a sense of the problems the greater Cleveland community faced, and the solutions offered by some of the community’s brightest.  The Isaiah Award remains relevant and important to AJC Cleveland, to the community, to members of the selection committee, and to its recipients.

Help AJC Cleveland with selection of the 2021 Isaiah Award for Human Relations recipient by nominating a non-profit organization or group that follows in AJC Cleveland’s footsteps, striving for a just and tolerant world for all by showing:

  • Outstanding initiative or leadership in bridge building, interfaith or intergroup relations.
  • Betterment of the human condition in the greater Cleveland community.
  • Effectiveness of volunteer and community involvement in achieving goals and objectives.

Visit ajc.org/Cleveland/Isaiah-2021 for more information & to submit a nomination. Questions? Email cleveland@ajc.org or call (216) 781-6034.

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