The Jewish Federation of Cleveland (JF) and Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) are interviewing Federation leaders to understand and gather information about their backgrounds, leadership activities, leadership style, and their contributions to the Jewish and general communities. The outcome of this project will be a collection of sources in the Cleveland Jewish Archives that will enable future generations to understand the development of the Jewish community and its role in the larger society. The recordings and transcriptions of the oral histories will be stored in the collections of the Library of WRHS. It is hoped that researchers and students of all ages will benefit from learning more about the experiences of successful community leaders.
Questions addressed during the interviews include background questions about the interviewee’s family, education, and professional experiences, with an emphasis on the interviewee’s motivation for community involvement. Several questions will focus on the core values and how these values influenced the style of leadership. Additional questions will ask for evaluations of goals achieved, the impact of mentors and role models, and the future of leadership within the Jewish Federation.