Stanley and Hope Adelstein
Given the chance, Stanley and Hope Adelstein would gladly talk all day about the wide variety of trees in the backyard of their Pepper Pike home, most of which they have planted themselves.
Coincidentally, “all day” is also about how long it would take to enumerate the many charitable causes the Adelsteins have supported during their half century of marriage. The two are best known for their tireless philanthropic support of the environment, but they also have worked for children and education, among other passions.
“We’re just two people who have done what we could to save and preserve the natural beauty of the areas in which we’ve lived and visited.”
For those reasons and many others, the Cleveland Foundation honored the Adelsteins with its 2007 Frederick Harris Goff Philanthropic Service Award, which is bestowed on those whose dedication to the community and belief in the power of philanthropy have made and will continue to make a difference in the lives of Greater Clevelanders.
“I suppose people would call us tree-huggers,” laughs Stanley Adelstein, a retired attorney from the firm of McDonald Hopkins (formerly Burke, Haber and Berick). “We’re just two people who have done what we could to save and preserve the natural beauty of the areas in which we’ve lived and visited.”
Stanley traces his love of nature back to his days in the Coast Guard during World War II. While stationed in Neah Bay, Wash., he would often hike through the woods of a nearby national park.
“On the periphery of the park, I saw a number of areas where trees had been absolutely decimated, plowed down by a logging company,” he recalls. “I thought it was awful.”
He soon became involved with the Sierra Club. Later in life, as a Pepper Pike city councilman from 1972 to 1985, he took the lead in sponsoring various legislation to plant trees, control pollution, and ensure safe routes for cyclists and runners in the city. He also helped to protect forested areas from developers.
The Adelsteins have played key roles in sustaining the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, and the Earth Day Coalition. They established the Stanley I. and Hope S. Adelstein Environmental Fund at the Cleveland Foundation to support environmental activities, programs, and studies in Greater Cleveland.
“Material things never meant a great deal to us.”
More recently, they made one of the first matching grants to the foundation’s Advanced Energy Fund.
Hope Adelstein, a retired nurse, was a founding trustee of the Cleveland Children’s Museum and has served on the boards of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the Cleveland Council of World Affairs, and the Jewish Community Center. When asked about the origins of her philanthropy, she is quick to answer.
“My mother instilled in me that it was better to give than to receive,” says Hope, the youngest of five children. “She was a loving, giving human being and a role model for me. That’s just how I was raised.“I’ve always been privileged to go along with Stanley’s charitable ideas and activities. I’m proud of him and I’m rather proud of myself, because from humble beginnings you can learn to share. Material things never meant a great deal to us.”