Active volunteer, art collector Jordan Perlman appreciates Judson Manor’s inclusive atmosphere

You’ll be hard-pressed to reach Jordan Perlman during the day at his Judson Manor apartment.  He’s too busy volunteering at Cleveland Clinic.  The spry, affable 87-year-old greets patients and guests, answering questions and offering directions, five days a week.

“I answer about 80 questions a day,” says Jordan, who’s amassed well over 8,000 volunteer hours at the Clinic over the last seven years.  In 2012, he was named the Cleveland Indians Volunteer of the Year for his dedication.   But he’s not in it for the accolades.

“It gives me something positive to do,” he says. “I enjoy helping people.”

Jordan’s family moved to Cleveland in 1936, eventually settling in Cleveland Heights.  For most of his adult life he lived in East Cleveland, where he owned and operated Jordan’s Shoppe, a women’s apparel store, for 55 years.

He moved to Judson Manor in University Circle in 2007 because it was convenient to all the things important to him-his Clinic volunteer position and the culture of Cleveland.

“University Circle is growing in leaps and bounds,” says Jordan. “It’s a place I wanted to be a part of-where I could spend the rest of my life.  Plus, living here, I have peace of mind. There are no worries-I’ll always be taken care of.”

He chose a renovated fourth-floor apartment that he was able to customize to his taste. The sleek space, complete with track lighting and black and taupe-painted walls, showcases his love of art.  He owns an eclectic mix of primitive African and modern pieces, including several works by Cleveland-based contemporary artists Chris Pekoc, Tom Balbo and Ralph Woehrman.  From a practical standpoint he appreciates having central air conditioning and heat.

He frequently attends concerts at both Severance Hall and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and enjoying walking to the Cleveland Museum of Art to enjoy its newly renovated galleries.  In addition to his gig at Cleveland Clinic, Jordan has discovered other volunteer opportunities right at home-he bartends at happy hour and co-chairs the garden committee.  He keeps an active social calendar, regularly combing the Friday newspapers looking to attend the latest art gallery openings.

He hosts large dinner parties and often calls on the Manor to cater these affairs.  “It’s extremely convenient, since I don’t cook,” admits Jordan, who jokingly shows off his spotless kitchen.

But beyond his apartment and the location, Jordan admits it’s the people living at the Manor who make it special.

“From the first moment I walked in, I was struck by the relaxed atmosphere and the warmth of the residents,” he says.  “I’ve made many great friends.  There’s an inclusiveness here that I couldn’t get anywhere else.  I really know my neighbors!”

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