LilaTovCocktail: Ingredients: one part NE Ohio; two parts politics; two parts media, and one part each: culture, family & the Jewish community. Directions: Shake well.

Should Federation move its HQ east?


by Marilyn Karfeld, Cleveland Jewish News, 4/11/08

About 50 civic leaders have joined forces to contest the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland’s proposed move to an eastern suburb.

A group headed by David Goldberg, co-chairman of AmTrust Bank, formerly Ohio Savings, was to present objections to the move at a meeting today (April 11) of Federation’s Community Relations Committee (CRC).

Goldberg, immediate past chair of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and a longtime Jewish communal leader, declined to argue his case in the newspaper before the CRC hears firsthand of his group’s concerns. “We respect the trustees to make the decision,” he says, adding that it should be made with broad community input.

Federation leaders have “slowed the process down” in response to those who wanted more community input, says Stephen H. Hoffman, Federation president. While he insists he has no opinion on the move at this time and is in “a listening mode,” Hoffman says a decision on the location of the new headquarters is likely this summer “at the latest.”

Read the rest of the story at the Cleveland Jewish News.

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BBC April 13, 2008 at 10:01 AM  

No--adamantly no. Can we stop the run away madness?

Lila Hanft April 14, 2008 at 10:31 AM  


Thanks for your comment.

Preventing downtown corporations and businesses from fleeing to the 'burbs has been on the community development agenda for decades.

But I'm wondering if it makes any difference when the company Cleveland risks losing is not a business but a nonprofit agency?

Corporations usually leave the city for the suburbs in pursuit of greater profit. They may be lured by tax incentives, the perception of a better educated workforce, the promise of better security and the appeal of new and/or larger facilities.

Nonprofits like the Federation don't move for the same reasons. They aren't hoping to make more money in the suburbs: they're hoping to improve community relations and extend and deepen contact with the populations they serve. And most of Northeast Ohio's Jews live east of the city.

How big a blow to downtown would the loss of Federation be?

And is there a different set of community development strategies that could keep nonprofit agencies from moving to the 'burbs?

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