Hero of Chesed: Courtney Krieger

Tags: Federation, Partner Agency

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The Jewish Federation of Cleveland recognizes and thanks frontline workers at our beneficiary agencies.

Meet "Hero of Chesed" Courtney Krieger, manager of outreach and engagement, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Q: Why did you choose your current position?

A: I enjoy working with people of all cultures and generations through education. I also am amazed by the fact that this museum gives everyone a chance to explore Jewish history and culture while also exploring other cultures, religions, and races too. I am proud that our exhibits and programs bring people together and history to life, allowing us to learn from the past and continue to educate ourselves in the present so that our future will be a positive light for us all. I knew when accepting this position, that every day I would be living my favorite quote: “When one teaches, two learn.”

Q: What do you love most about working with community members?

A: My work is all about anti-biased education. I work with many populations which include children smiling and exploring values at the Maltz Museum’s Kindness Camp, students who speak up and share their voices through our Stop the Hate program, educators learning how to teach the Holocaust through Object Based Learning, as well as many senior citizens who share their wisdom and experiences. These groups share a passion to learn, inspire others and to do what is right and just.

Q: How has your typical day changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?

A: The main change is that I’m working online from home and using Zoom for meetings and programs. I can't imagine if this happened during the time of my childhood without the internet. (Uh oh! I'm revealing my age!!)

Q: What are the biggest challenges that community members you work with are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: I heard from parents that they are trying to find ways for their children to access the community. This is one reason we created our Kindness Camp this summer. It was a month program with seven partner community organizations which shared topics and activities that inspired kindness. Camp families "met" and interacted with one another while still remaining safe. Also, before the pandemic, our volunteers were used to helping the guests with tours, programs, and the Museum Store. Now we are asking our volunteers to help in new ways to bring the museum to students, educators, and families. I'm excited that while we continue to provide online programs, the Maltz Museum will be re-opening to the public on August 23.

Q: Where do you gain your strength in times like these and what do you do to recharge?

A: I have to admit that I'm still in the process of learning how to recharge. I am starting to make sure that I stay in touch with my friends, family, and colleagues. They help me gain strength through challenging times. Zoom reunions are a great new activity in my life, as well as the world of Netflix and computer games! However, nothing beats recharging more than being with my family at a summer campfire playing games, eating s'mores and singing “Hamilton” music in the backyard!

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