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Silver Linings: Marc Kaufman

Posted February 10, 2023 in Articles


Marc Kaufman is a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a radioman and was stationed in Charleston, S.C. from 1969 to 1971. After returning from service, he got involved with a few different Jewish War Veterans posts in the Cleveland area. At the time, his father, Danny, was the post commander of JWV Post No. 44.

Silver Linings: Marc Kaufman

Kaufman said his love of his country is what fuels his volunteer work.

“Being a veteran, I’ve always felt an obligation to the country,” he said. “So, when I got home from the service in 1972, the younger guys – guys my age who, back then were late 20s, early 30s – we formed a post called Post 1973. Most of the guys were Vietnam era and most of us were all children of people that were older, already in the JWV.”

Post 1973 was short-lived because the interest of Kaufman’s generation was not the same as that of the older generation, he said.

“That lasted about three years and then I became active in my dad’s post, Post No. 44,” he said. “That was probably back in the early ‘80s and I just got more involved and more involved and Larry Pollack, when he was commander, asked me to be a senior vice commander. My dad died in 2014, so I got really active in the summer of 2014.”

Kaufman has been the senior vice commander of Post No. 44 for the last six years. The post is involved in various community outreach activities that support fellow military veterans.

“We’re involved with doing work at the VA hospital,” he said. “We would go down there once a month to the tower and we would go up to the fifth floor and we provided entertainment for them every month, and treats. There usually were 20 to 30 patients and we had about seven or eight people from our post that came down there and helped do this.”

Pollack would bring in violinists, organists, accordion players, DJs and other types of entertainers to bring joy to the patients, Kaufman said. Their efforts at the VA hospital were forced to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic manifested.

Kaufman compensated for this with his work for another organization, Forest City Hebrew Benevolent Association, which adapted to the challenges of the pandemic by holding meetings via Zoom.

“We have Zoom meetings once a month and I’m a trustee there, too,” he said.

He is also involved at the Solon Senior Center, where he volunteers for its food pantry on the fourth Tuesday of each month, helping to pack food to be distributed to those in need, he said.

About a year-and-a-half ago, once it became safer to be together in the same room, the JWV Post No. 44 began holding in-person meetings again, he said.

“First, at the Mayfield Community Center, until it got torn down, and now we’re over at Mayfield Heights Village Community Center,” he said.

Kaufman has traveled to veteran-related destinations on his own and through a veterans organization, he said.

He took a trip with his wife to Omaha, France, where he visited Omaha Beach, which is where U.S. troops landed on D-Day. It was a “very emotional” experience, he said.

“My dad was at D-Day, my uncle and my wife’s uncle landed at Omaha Beach in July of 1944,” he said. “It was a real, emotional thing for me and I actually brought a bag of sand home from Omaha Beach. It was something that really moved me.”

He participated in three trips via the Honor Flight organization, which flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II and Vietnam memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery, where they participate in a wreath laying ceremony, he said. He took his father with him on one of the three trips and was moved by the way they were revered for their service.

“You walk through the airports and you’re wheeling a veteran through and everybody stands up and applauds,” he said. “It brings tears to my eyes.”

Retired from his work as a salesperson at Leff Electric since 2015, as Kaufman looks to the future of his work with JWV, he would like to get back to Post No. 44’s involvement with the VA hospital and form new relationships with other places that serve veterans, such as Menorah Park, Montefiore and Wiggins Place, he said.

His mother is a resident at Stone Gardens on the Menorah Park campus in Beachwood, so he also volunteers there when they need help, he said.

“(I’d like to) get some of their veterans involved with some of our functions and just try to meet with them at least every couple months or so, to let them know there’s somebody out there that still wants them to be involved,” Kaufman said.

About Marc

Age: 73

Residence: Twinsburg

Synagogue: The Shul

Previous career: Salesperson at Leff Electric

Retirement year: 2015

Hobbies: Pickleball, softball, traveling

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