Cheryl and Brian Fox

The Foxes’ contributions to Friendship Circle follow numerous roles in the Jewish community. Cheryl formerly chaired the Shabbos Project Cleveland and currently serves on the board of Green Road Synagogue and Kosher Food Bank. Her involvement with Friendship Circle’s annual Walk began some 15 years ago.

Brian had been involved in several organizations such as Montefiore, Camp Stone, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and Fuchs Mizrachi School when he was tapped to become Friendship Circle’s third board chair, following Peter Rzepka and Steve Weinberg. Under his leadership, Friendship Circle expanded its board, brought in new stakeholders, and invested in an intensive strategic planning process that is reshaping Friendship Circle’s priorities and professional structure.

The Foxes have a daughter and son-in-law, Jenna and Yair Polster, and a foster son, Noah Farrell, whom they welcomed into their family when he was 16. (Coincidentally, he was already a Friendship Circle volunteer friend-maker!)   

 

Elayne & Ron Kluchin, Carrie & Scott, Lexi & Jamie Simmerson

Fittingly, the Kluchin family’s three generations of Friendship Circle involvement began with a special friendship. Nearly 20 years ago, Ron, an architect who has worked with many local Jewish institutions, formed a close relationship with Rabbi Yossi––leading to Ron’s leadership role in fundraising for the annual My Walk 4 Friends event, Elayne’s strong support of Friendship Circle, and the eventual involvement of their daughter Carrie, son-in-law Scott, and granddaughters Lexi and Jamie.

In Lexi, the Kluchins see the power of Friendship Circle to transform lives. An indifferent student as a teen, she learned about Friendship Circle through the participation of cousins Nick and Jordan and decided to volunteer as a friend-maker, eventually becoming a role model for her peers. Today she is avidly studying to be a behavioral intervention specialist at Ohio University where she helps organize Rosh Hashana services, baby-sits for children, and devotes time to many other altruistic pursuits.

 

INNA & IGOR, ALAN & JESSE Vaytsman-Tziporski

 The Vaytsman-Tziporskis’ Friendship Circle support began when 4-year-old Alan participated in programs on Green Road in South Euclid. Then, when Friendship Circle’s move to Pepper Pike sparked rapid growth of programs and teen volunteers, Alan’s childhood reached new highs as he sang and played piano at major events. That’s when Inna, Igor, and Rabbi Yossi began to plan a first: a community Bar Mitzvah at Friendship Circle. Before a full house of friends, a jubilant Alan showed off his musical and Hebrew prowess.

Today, Alan is nearing high school graduation from Orange, where many of his friends date to Friendship Circle. Now a teen volunteer himself, he devotes time as a friend-maker to younger children and to the Better Together program as a friend to older persons. Sixth grader Jesse has a deep appreciation of Friendship Circle, having joined his brother at numerous programs and events. And Inna and Igor, who began life in Mariupol, Ukraine, continue as advocates of the organization that has immeasurably uplifted their family.