Renee Chelm, a Jew by choice and a native of Maple Heights, grew up in Burton and lived in Novelty for several years. Chelm graduated from Berkshire High School and attended Bowling Green State University (BGSU). It was not until she attended BGSU that she met her first Jew. Chelm and her late husband, Michael Petty, converted to Judaism in 1989.
In 2013, Chelm was elected to a three-year term as board chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. This interview is part of a series of interviews documenting the experience of leaders of the Jewish community in order to understand the development of the Jewish community and its role in the larger society.