The Irving Baker Community Builder Award
Ahavas Sholom enthusiastically honors Steven Schottenstein with the inaugural Irving Baker Community Builder Award. Irving Baker, z”l, was a lifelong Ahavas Sholom member, board member and supporter who cared deeply for the shul. And like his dear friend Irv, Steven has become known for his exemplary vision, devotion and leadership in the Columbus Jewish community. Steven has given his time and resources to numerous causes and offered wise guidance and thoughtful leadership. He has been one of Ahavas Sholom’s strongest supporters, participating in numerous campaigns and projects with forward-thinking, energetic involvement.
Steven was an exceptional son to Frances and Irving Schottenstein, of blessed memory, who would be very proud of him. Pillars of the Columbus Jewish community themselves, they raised their four children to care for others, and to contribute to many causes. Steven is humble, often does anonymous acts of kindness, and treats the little guy the same as a leader... just as his father Irving did.
Steven fondly recalls one of his earliest memories, attending services at Ahavas Sholom with his grandfather Meyer Schottenstein, z”l. Meyer’s twin brother Harry Schottenstein z”l was Rabbi Rosenberg’s grandfather.
Steven is a lifetime member of Agudas Achim synagogue, where he has served in the past as Board President. He has been a leader at many other Jewish institutions as well, including terms as President of Columbus Torah Academy, Columbus Jewish Federation, and Columbus Jewish Foundation. He is currently President of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. For the past 3 years, Steven has been active in reorganizing the Columbus Jewish Cemetery Association, to unite all the synagogues to work together to repair and maintain the Jewish cemeteries. His leadership was instrumental in the project to install a new drainage system on the two acres of the Ahavas Sholom Performance Parkway Cemetery. This enhancement will greatly improve the utility of the cemetery landscape, ensuring the future for this critical community establishment.
Steven is joined in his passion by his wife Rhonda, who whole heartedly supports her husband’s volunteer work. Graciously hosting numerous organizational meetings in their home, Rhonda and Steven have transmitted their passion for community involvement to their children.
Steven is a proud graduate of Bexley High School and Indiana University. He has successfully spent over 40 years in all facets of home building and is co-owner of Schottenstein Homes. Steven believes that homeowner satisfaction should always be the primary focus of his company.
Ahavas Sholom is pleased to honor Steven this year; a great friend of the synagogue, which values his kindness, advice and generosity. Ahavas Sholom also recognizes the decades of work that Steven has done for the entire Columbus Jewish community. He is always asking what more can be done to improve Jewish living in his hometown and to carry on the legacy of leadership and community building he learned from those who came before him.
Steven followed Irv Baker’s footsteps working for enhanced Jewish life in Columbus, at Columbus Torah Academy, the Columbus Jewish Federation and other institutions. He is so honored to be the first recipient of the memorial award for Irving Baker, his dear friend, of blessed memory.