Milton and Tamar Maltz believe in the power of philanthropy to make a positive difference for others – and they have spent their lives proving the point. Over the years they have supported an array of significant efforts in this region and around the country, including two major initiatives at Case Western Reserve University. In recognition of their generosity and wisdom, Barbara R. Snyder will recognize Milton and Tamar with the President’s Award for Visionary Achievement during Commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 16.
This spring the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland made a $12 million pledge to Case Western Reserve University to help create a performing arts center at The Temple – Tifereth Israel. Working in partnership with The Temple and its Senior Rabbi, Richard A. Block, the university is raising funds to transform the historic University Circle complex into a new home for the departments of music, theater and dance. The plan also preserves The Temple as a religious icon, as members of the congregation will continue to use the sanctuary for High Holy Days and other significant life cycle events.
Milton and Tamar Maltz have been members of The Temple for more than three decades, and wanted to preserve its presence within the city of Cleveland. They also recognize the rich benefits that performing arts can add to a campus and the larger community. The couple revitalized a regional theater in Jupiter, Florida, and supported construction of a 500-seat auditorium for Florida Atlantic University’s lifelong learning program.
For The Temple renovation, Case Western Reserve plans to create multiple performance spaces, as well as rehearsal rooms and faculty offices. The university has more than 200 students pursuing degrees in music, dance and theater, and more than 600 students participate in extracurricular ensembles including orchestra and Glee Club.
“This project would provide our students the kind of soaring and elegant space their work deserves,” President Snyder said. “We deeply appreciate Milton and Tamar’s willingness to make such a substantial commitment to this dream, and are confident it will inspire many others to contribute.”
This pledge for the performing arts follows another significant gift to create the Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation. This $2 million grant, also from the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, enabled Case Western Reserve to recruit Mario Garcia-Sanz, a renowned leader in turbine innovation.
Milton and Tamar also have supported several major projects in greater Cleveland. Milton and Tamar, along with the Maltz Family Foundation, were founding partners in the establishment of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. The museum, located in Beachwood, Ohio, opened in 2005 and introduces visitors to the beauty and diversity of the Jewish heritage in the context of the American experience, and seeks to build bridges of tolerance and understanding with people of all religions, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The museum sponsors an annual essay contest, Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out, which has attracted thousands of entrants from Northeast Ohio, with winners receiving college scholarships. The museum also includes The Temple – Tifereth Israel Gallery, an internationally recognized collection of Judaica.
Milton also was instrumental in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which has welcomed nearly eight million visitors since opening in 1995. Both Milton and Tamar have been involved with many civic and philanthropic organizations, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Play House, and the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland. In addition, they have been active supporters of the Planned Life Assistance Network and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. More recently, Milton and Tamar have been working to develop a new entity that will focus exclusively on neurological and brain research.
Milton and Tamar also conceived and founded the widely acclaimed International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, which is dedicated to providing a global perspective on the profession of espionage. As a result of their generosity, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute was able to open a state-of-the-art treatment center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Milton Maltz founded Malrite Communications Group in 1956. He served as chairman and CEO until the company was sold in 1998, overseeing its growth into one of the most successful media companies in the country, operating radio and television stations stretching from New York to Los Angeles.
“Milton and Tamar have accumulated a remarkable record of philanthropy and accomplishment throughout their lives together,” President Snyder said. “We are honored by their support of Case Western Reserve University, and by the opportunity to recognize them in front of our graduates this weekend.”
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