David Schafer to Retire as Maltz Museum Managing Director

Beachwood – February 21, 2024

The Board of Trustees of the Maltz Museum announced today that David Schafer plans to step down as Managing Director later this year. He has served in this position since 2017 and with the Maltz Museum since 2010.

“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, our founders Milton and Tamar Maltz, the Museum employees and volunteers, our community partners and our generous donors, I want to thank David for his unwavering dedication and commitment to the Maltz Museum and its values during his 14 years of service,” said Renee’ Chelm, Board Chair of the Maltz Museum. “Under David’s leadership, the Maltz Museum has become a shining example of our efforts to promote respect for all humanity. David’s outstanding relationships in our community, locally, nationally and even internationally, have elevated the reputation of the Maltz Museum as a beacon of hope for a brighter future.”

“Fifteen years ago, Tamar and I looked at each other and said – who could really help lead our Maltz Museum, someone who cares about our community, understands the importance with building bridges, and believes in the Jewish People and Israel?” said Milton Maltz. “We knew we had to convince David Schafer and his wife Orna to leave sunny Florida to come back to our beloved Cleveland – the community in which he spent over a decade going door to door pitching Israel Bonds. It was the best decision we made for our Museum. David has brought financial stability, awareness of our mission, and leadership to our staff.”

“Tamar and I thank David for his tireless efforts to foster relationships and connect diverse populations through thought-provoking exhibits and significant programs such as Stop the Hate. Under his leadership, the Maltz Museum has served as both inspiration and a premiere center of learning for our community and beyond. We have enjoyed spending time with David and Orna over the years and they will always be welcomed as members of the museum family.”

“I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to build upon the vision of our founders,“ shared David Schafer. “It has been an honor to work with a dedicated team of colleagues to steward the Maltz Museum’s work in serving Northeast Ohio and beyond.”

Board Chair Chelm continued, “I am grateful to David who is willing to staying on through the end of 2024 to ensure a smooth and successful transition.” A search committee has been formed to select the next leader of the Maltz Museum.

Under Schafer’s leadership, the Maltz Museum:

  • Expanded the Stop the Hate essay and songwriting contest for 6th-12th grade students throughout our Northeast Ohio region to engage in critical thinking about themselves, their communities and our world and to celebrate students committed to creating a more accepting, inclusive society
  • Held 13 special exhibitions, including Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann, which in 2023 traveled to Munich, Germany to be displayed prominently in a city that gave birth to fascism
  • Welcomed 215,000 visitors, including 50,000 students, to explore and learn diverse stories of courage from history and today
  • Established the Heritage Award, the Museum’s signature fundraising event, which celebrates individuals whose leadership, vision and humanity have changed our region for the better
  • Curated and introduced Holocaust survivor Stanley Bernath and civil rights icon Reverend Otis Moss, Jr. as holographic interactive biographies, allowing today’s visitors and future generations to converse with these local heroes, hear their voices, absorb their eyewitness accounts of history, and draw lessons and inspiration from their courage in the face of adversity

Now on view at the Maltz Museum through April 28, 2024 is the special exhibition The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Lodz Ghetto, which explores the story of a young, 14-year-old Jewish girl’s fight for survival in the Lodz Ghetto and reconstructs what might have happened to her.

About the Maltz Museum

Opened in 2005 in a collaboration between The Maltz Family Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Centennial Initiative and The Temple-Tifereth Israel with research support from the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Maltz Museum is rooted in the Jewish value of respect for all humanity, building bridges of tolerance and understanding by sharing Jewish heritage through the lens of the American experience. The Maltz Museum is dedicated to exploring diverse stories of courage from history and today, with a commitment to education and learning so there can be a more inclusive tomorrow.


Maltz Museum