Cleveland Jewish History

A guide to what's on the web, plus our own pages 
created by a growing group of volunteer contributors.

AN IMAGE FROM THE PAST: The Willson Avenue Temple  (image around 1906)

This enlarged copy of an old picture postcard shows Reform congregation The Temple-Tifereth Israel at the southeast corner of East 55th Street (then Willson Avenue) and Central Avenue. In those pre-automobile years it was very helpful to be on or near street car lines.

Here Moses Gries, an 1889 graduate of the Hebrew Union College and The Temple's first American-born rabbi, would hold Sunday morning services. In a time of six-day work weeks and blue laws aimed at keeping stores closed on Sunday mornings, this adjustment to American life allowed many more members to attend weekly worship.

Built in 1894, this may have been the first Jewish institution on East 55th Street. There would be many more including B'nai Jeshurun (our first Conservative synagogue), and the offices of the daily paper, Yiddishe Velt, read by our rapidly growing population of immigrants from Eastern Europe.

In 1924 The Temple, now led by Abba Hillel Silver, moved to University Circle and sold this building to a church. Today another church, Friendship Baptist, owns the building, but with only 40 members it faces foreclosure on what had once been the spiritual home of more than a thousand Jewish families.

 

NEW HISTORY PAGES


1958 photo    .  

In the 1950s Rabbi Israel Porath was called Dean of the Orthodox rabbinate.  Not generally known was his friendship with Cleveland's renowned Reform Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver.
Learn more

Our Jewish community started in 1839 with the arrival of a group from Bavaria led by Moses Alsbacher. Our new pages tell about Moses, his children and grandchildren, his unmarked grave, the Alsbacher Document, and Abe Nebel who discovered it. 
Learn more

1868 photo

 

WHAT'S NEW ON THESE PAGES

To mark our 16th anniversary we introduce this new larger Home page and a Photo Gallery, for nearly full screen displays of interesting images. Our first image, from 1906, is shown above. In several inter-related pages we try to shed some light on pioneer Moses Alsbacher and his family.

To read our "What's New" page, click here.

Arnold Berger, editor

THIS WEBSITE - BY THE NUMBERS

Google rank
age (years)
contributors
pages
images
links to other sites
page views last year
sponsors and ads

 

#1
16
35
330 +
900 +
600 +
70,000 +
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ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS

Our largest contributions are Dr Louis Rosenblum's account of the movement to free Soviet Jews, and the pages on Rabbi Israel Porath and on the Sam and Minnie Klausner family, with content from their descendants. Some contributors have provided important published works that were not on the web and a few had published stories that we could present much more completely.

For a full list with links to their pages, click here.

GUIDE TO HISTORY RESOURCES

Our History Resources pages contain annotated links to other web sites. The pages most often viewed are Cleveland Jewish History Links and American Jewish History Links.

To draw attention to the best history pages we also have annotated links to the history pages of many Cleveland Jewish Organizations and Cleveland Cultural Organizations.

For our main History Resources page that links to all our resources pages, click here.

FAVORITE PAGES
 
In June 2014 the most popular pages were:
  ● B'rith Emeth and Rabbi Philip Horowitz
  ● Tiffany Windows at Anshe Chesed
  ● Jewish City Council Members
Some memorable short stories:
  ● The Great Gift  (1843)
  ● Bernstein's Elbow (1895)
  ● The Stranger (1947)
Because we must remember:
  ● Cleveland's Holocaust Memorial

A FEW LAST WORDS

Our pages have many links that allow one-click viewing of a page on another site. Links to other websites will open in a new browser window, which you can close to return to our page.

Only subscribers to the Cleveland Jewish News Archive will be able to see CJN stories we link to.

We welcome your comments and reports of any broken links. To contact us, click here.

Enjoy your visit.

 

     

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THE BASICS
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About this Cleveland Jewish History website

What's New      |    What's Coming
Contributors
Privacy Policy   |    Fair Use Notice
Contact Us

HISTORY RESOURCES
History Resources main page
Cleveland Jewish History   
History Pages: Cleveland Jewish Organizations
History Pages: Cleveland Cultural Organizations
American Jewish History
Virtual Treasures    
Cleveland History Websites
 
PEOPLE
Moses Alsbacher, the Document, Abe Nebel
Simpson Thorman and his descendants
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver

Rev Zvi Hirsch Masliansky
Sam and Minnie Klausner and their children
Rabbi Israel Porath
Rabbi Michaelis Machol
Rabbi Philip Horowitz
Jewish Members of City Council
Harry Bernstein (the czar)


SYNAGOGUES
The great gift to Cleveland's Jews
Old Synagogues
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
The Temple - Tifereth Israel
The Search for the Plaque
Brith Emeth
Chibas Jerusalem
SOVIET JEWRY
Memoir by Dr Louis Rosenblum
25th anniversary of Summit Sunday 
Natan Sharansky on the movement
Cleveland Proclamation (1966)
Herb Caron: how the movement began

INSTITUTIONS
Cemeteries
Jewish Federation
Jewish Orphan Homel

NEIGHBORHOODS

 

IMAGES
Image Gallery
Herb Ascherman's Rabbis
 

One line per page Site Map  

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