HARTFORD – New England real estate executive Joshua Solomon, owner of the Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball team and co-founder and president of The DSF Group, has been selected as the 2021 recipient of Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) prestigious Tree of Life Award in recognition of his outstanding community involvement, professional leadership, and dedication to the cause of American-Israeli friendship with the devotion to peace and the security of human life.
Solomon will be honored at a virtual gala on June 8. featuring an intimate dialogue with Emmy-award winning actor, director, producer Henry Winkler and Academy-award winning actress, producer, and activist Marlee Matlin.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by such a highly esteemed organization for my commitment to improving the lives of others,” said Solomon.
As president of The DSF Group, Solomon is very active in the real estate industry and has major philanthropic ties within the Hartford and Boston communities. Most notably, he is passionate about leaving a lasting impression on children and families in underserved areas by exposing them to programs and opportunities through the Yard Goats Foundation that provides education and job training in a way that can “change the entire outcome of their lives.”
He is also dedicated to helping homeless families find permanent residences and acquire life skills to find employment. For more than 12 years, he has been a board member and spearheaded the real estate committee of the nonprofit organization Heading Home, which provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services to homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals in the Greater Boston area.
“Helping young homeless families in need is a major part of our family’s life. It really puts things into perspective and brings you closer to the people you’re helping,” he says.
The impact of Solomon’s philanthropic endeavors can also be felt overseas. The owner of the Double-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies combines his lifelong passion for baseball and his love for Israel as a board member of the Israeli Association of Baseball and through his involvement with JNF-USA, the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation building activities in Israel’s north and south.
The majority of his charitable donations to JNF-USA helps support Team Israel, the Israeli Olympic baseball team, and JNF-USA’s “Project Baseball” – an initiative focused on building state-of-the-art baseball and softball fields throughout Israel, while also supporting and teaching baseball and softball to Israeli youth through Little Leagues, summer camps, and clinics.
Team Israel is currently making history by competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic games and is the first Israeli National Team to qualify for an Olympic team competition since 1976.
“This is the story of the Jewish people,” says Solomon. “The odds are always against them, and some way, somehow, they pull out these huge victories. It shows the world that Jewish athletes can compete with the best. Imagine the Israeli flag being raised on the medal podium while Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, is played on the Olympic stage for all the world to hear. I hope my involvement and support of JNF-USA contributes to the continued success of baseball in the state of Israel, as well as helping advance peace between Israel and its neighbors.”
Event Chair and JNF-USA New England Treasurer Michael Blank added: “I have known Josh Solomon for years and admire his dedication to his family, his friends, and his many charitable causes. Josh deserves recognition for his philanthropy to JNF-USA and the Hartford and Boston communities, and for just being an honest to goodness great guy.”
The Tree of Life™ Award Ceremony Honoring Josh Solomon will be held June 8 at 8 p.m. To join the celebration, visit jnf.org/treeoflifenewengland. For more information, contact Dar Nadler at email@example.com or Sara Hefez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Main Photo: Josh Solomon