About November Philanthropy
Mort and Iris November began their philanthropic projects over 25 years ago. Many of the projects were dedicated to the memory of Mort's daughter, Debra Ann, who died at age 24. The focus of their philanthropy has always been directed to the welfare of children in need. Combining their own funds with the generous contributions of both money and products, they have been able to grow their gifts and multiply the quantity of items they can donate to individual families, groups of children in facilities and schools, and enhance the lives of others. Their legacy of support for others will continue, promising many more creative and innovative plans for others.
About Mort & Iris November
Life-long Clevelander Mort November was born in 1926 to Leah (Figowitz) and Jack November, owners of the November Flower Shop with their family. From the age of 10, Mort worked in the shop. Later, Mort enlisted in the army, serving in Japan at the end of World War II. Next, he joined his uncle Al in his door-to-door sales business. After marrying Phyllis Tetalman and having two children, Larry and Debra Ann, Mort joined the Lincoln Nation Life Insurance Company; he became a top salesman for many years, retiring in 1999. When his daughter died at 24 in 1977, and his wife thereafter, Mort began to think of ways to celebrate their lives. Iris Flaxman Hollander November was born in Philadelphia to Celeste and Charles Flaxman in 1933. Her family settled in Cleveland in 1941, where Iris grew up. She received her BA from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University), and her Masters in Library Science from the same institution. She married Bernard "Bud" Hollander, an attorney, in 1952, and had four daughters: Celia, Anita, Lisa, and Rachel. During this time, she worked as a librarian in various libraries. When her husband died in 1975, she raised her family and continued her library service and her volunteer commitments. In 1991, Iris founded the Statue of Liberty Collectors Club, which meets every two years in New York City. She also initiated a Women-4-Women Knitting-4-Peace chapter in Beachwood, Ohio; they knit dolls, shawls, scarves and more for women and children in third world countries.
Through a wonderful friend and matchmaker, Rabbi David Hachen, Iris met Mort in 1979. They were married in 1982 and together they began their mission to enhance the lives of children and families with their philanthropy.
On July 12, 2016, Mort November passed away. He was 88 years old. His philanthropy made a lasting impact on our community and has inspired so many to give of their time, their energy, their talents, and their wallets to make the world a better place for our children. Iris carries on his work through November Philanthropy, beginning with a year-long celebration of Mort's work, 12 Months of November, wherein long-time philanthropic partners dedicate their events to Mort November throughout 2016-17.