Jesse V. McClain will be honored by B’nai B’rith as the 2010 “Guardian of the Menorah” at a tribute banquet at 6:30 p.m. June 13 at the Holiday Inn Boardman, 7410 South Ave.
The Guardian of the Menorah Tribute is presented to outstanding members of the community who have demonstrated, through service and commitment, their devotion to the causes of youth and the Jewish and general community.
After graduating from New Castle High School, McClain received an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in elementary principalship from Youngstown State University. He is a National Board Certified educator.
He has completed post-graduate work at Akron University, Maine University, Dayton University Lesley College, Kent State University, Yad Vashem, Seattle Pacific University, University of Kansas and YSU.
McClain and his wife, Catherine, a nurse, have been married more than 35 years. They have a son, Jesse McClain IV, and a daughter-in-law, Danielle.
In addition to his responsibilities as a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at Boardman Center Middle School, McClain chairs the language arts department at the school.
Since 2001, he has served as chairman of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Education Advisory Committee. McClain is an adjunct faculty member at YSU, KSU and Ottawa University and is a member of the Boardman Education, Ohio Education and National Education Associations.
McClain’s passion is Holocaust education. He has taught more than 4,000 students about the Holocaust. He is an active participant in the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation’s International Book Sharing Project, which pairs schools in this community with schools in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel, to study and discuss age-appropriate Holocaust literature via the Internet.
He serves on the board of the Ohio Council for Holocaust Education and the YSU Judaic and Holocaust Studies Program Committee.
McClain has attended numerous United States Holocaust Museum conferences and was named a Belfer Scholar in 1994.
In 1997, he received the Holocaust Museum Mendel Fellowship. He attended the Jewish Labor Committee’s Summer Institute program in Poland and Israel.
McClain has many awards for his outstanding dedication to education. He received the Boardman Teacher of the Year in 1990, the Martha Holden Jenning’s Grants to Educator Award, the U.S.-Eurasia Award (Fulbright) for Excellence in Teaching, the Truman Presidential Library Conference Award and the North Eastern Ohio Education Association Diversity Award. He also received the Triumphant Spirit Award for the Youngstown Area Jewish Community Relations Council and the Janusz Korczak Award presented by the YSU Judaic and Holocaust Studies Committee.
Through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., McClain is a Mandel Fellow and Belfer Award recipient.
Living past recipients of the Guardian of the Menorah are former state Sen. Harry Meshel, Atty. James L. Pazol, Samuel A. Roth, Bert Tamarkin, Florence Harshman, Dr. William Lippy, Terry Roth, Sam D. Roth, Paul Schwebel, Bruce Sherman, Gerald Peskin, Louis R. Epstein, William Vegh, Irving Lev, Dr. Saul Friedman, Sam Kooperman, Myra Benedikt, Susan Sokolov, Bruce Lev, Anita Shapiro, Dr. Richard Shapiro, Suzyn Schwebel Epstein, Marlene Hollander and Mervyn Hollander.
For more information or to make reservations, contact Bruce Sherman at 330-783-1442.