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The Unsung Hero of the Fight for Tolerance

The Unsung Hero of the Fight for Tolerance
Following a grand opening celebration, visitors make their way through an exhibit at the new Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

By    |   Monday, 10 December 2018 12:14 PM EST

Milton Maltz is a relentless philanthropist, perpetually promoting tolerance in all he does. Born in 1930, Maltz grew up in South Band, Indiana, and was the only Jew in his elementary school. When he was brutally attacked by his classmates, only because he was a Jew, his parents moved to Chicago on the very same day. That event shaped this young man’s life and turned him into an international champion of tolerance and education.

In Chicago, the young Maltz became a kid actor in radio dramas and appeared in a number of television broadcasts during the medium’s infancy. Over the years, he has worked in all aspects of the broadcast industry, including news and management. Among his many creative endeavors, Milt Maltz wrote, produced and directed “The Fight for Freedom,” a series of radio dramas reflecting the struggle for the creation of the State of Israel.

In 1956, after serving his country in Europe during World War II, Maltz founded Malrite Communications Group, Inc. and served as its Chairman and CEO until he sold the Company in 1998. Under his direction, Malrite became one of the most successful operators of radio and television properties in the country with stations stretching from New York to Los Angeles.

In the past several decades Milt Maltz, along with his wife Tamar, is a full-time philanthropist. Maltz believes that only light can defeat darkness. His answer to bigotry and anti-Semitism is a massive philanthropic investment in museums that are meant to educate and enrich people’s understanding of the world and the complexity of its problems.

Maltz is active in many philanthropic endeavors (such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western Reserve University’s new performance center, the Lieber Institute for Brain Development at John Hopkins, the Cleveland Play House, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Anti-Defamation League, the State of Israel Bonds, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and many more.) Maltz was instrumental in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum to Cleveland. Another highly acclaimed project of Maltz’s philanthropies is the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

For Milton Maltz, Israel’s success is not something that should be taken for granted. In a recent visit to the country he was at awe at the achievements of the young nation. For its 70th birthday he decided to produce a unique gift: the "Israel: Then & Now" traveling museum exhibit.

It is a first of its kind special exhibition that invites visitors to see the landmarks, learn the history, explore the culture, and meet the people of Israel — without leaving their community. The exhibit is a production of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland. Artifacts were identified and secured, historic images and milestone moments were selected and mounted, and voices of Israeli’s answering questions that both American and Israeli Jews grapple with were recorded to be shared with exhibit visitors.

"Israel: Then & Now," looks at what the country has accomplished in just seven decades. An intro film goes back 2,000 years to when the Jewish people were living in the land of Israel. Displaced by war, most Jews fled only to be rejected across the globe for their religious beliefs. Ultimately, the Jewish people found hope for themselves and their children in 1948, when Israel was declared the first Jewish state and many Jews returned to the land of their ancestors.

For Milton Maltz it’s all about younger generations: the exhibit provides them with a succinct and interactive introduction to Israel’s narrative through a custom created StoryWalk which uses panels from a new book called Ari & Abigail’s Passport to Israel. "Israel: Then & Now" is more than just a museum exhibit. It is a monument to one man’s relentless belief in tolerance.

Ambassador Ido Aharoni serves as a global distinguished professor at New York University’s School of International Relations in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Ambassador Aharoni is a 25-year veteran of Israel’s Foreign service, a public diplomacy specialist, founder of the Brand Israel program and a well-known nation branding practitioner. He is the founder of Emerson Rigby Ltd., an Israel-based consultancy firm specializing in non-product branding and positioning. Ambassador Aharoni, who served as Israel's longest serving consul-general in New York and the tristate area for six years, oversaw the operations of Israel’s largest diplomatic mission worldwide. Ambassador Aharoni joined Israel’s Foreign Service in the summer of 1991 and held two other overseas positions in Los Angeles (1994-1998) and in New York (2001-2005). He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University (Film, TV, Sociology and Social Anthropology) and Emerson College (Master’s in Mass Communications and Media Studies). At the Hebrew University in Jerusalem he attended the special Foreign Service program in Government and Diplomacy. To reach more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Milton Maltz is a relentless philanthropist, perpetually promoting tolerance in all he does.
milton maltz, israel, tolerance
Monday, 10 December 2018 12:14 PM
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