return to Home page

   Virtual History of Cleveland's Jewish Organizations

Our third annual review of how they share their history on the web.

When your organization presents its history well on its website, we believe that it   . . .

  • Welcomes and informs potential members, clients and donors.
  • Shows how it has changed over the years, responding to meet new needs.
  • Refreshes memories and warms the hearts of long-time members and supporters.
  • Recognizes and honors the leaders and donors who did so much to advance its mission.

How do Cleveland's Jewish organizations tell of their history on their websites?

(For a brief look at how Cleveland's major cultural institutions do this, click here

This page will help you find the history page on the websites of many Cleveland Jewish organizations. Click on the name of the organization to visit its website. Click on the "history" link, if there is one, to visit its History page. For your convenience, these links open pages in a new window of your browser. Close the window to return to this page. 

All links and pages reviewed as of August 31, 2010.

If this page reports a technical problem, be assured that the organization was promptly informed.

 Organization Name                                   founded History As of   Note
 Agnon School - 1969 nothing 8/2010  
 Jewish Education Center 1924 history 8/2010 27 words
 Siegal College of Judaic Studies 1952 history 8/2010 three excellent pages, all text
Social Welfare        
 Bellefaire-Jewish Childrens Bureau 1868 history 1/2011 much improved page
 Jewish Community Center 1899 nothing 8/2010  
 Jewish Family Service Association 1875 history 8/2010 video only note 1
 Menorah Park 1906 history 8/2010 detailed timeline, all text
 Montefiore 1882 history 8/2010 excellent  note 2
 Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation 1892 history 8/2010 12 lines
 Cleveland Jewish News 1964 history 8/2010 basic, all text, not current
 Jewish Federation of Cleveland 1903 history 8/2010 six lines  note 3
 Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage 2005 nothing 8/2010  
 Congregations (links are to their history pages)


 Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple - 1841 (good and well illustrated)
 Beachwood Kehilla - 1987 (words only, but the warmest, most welcoming words I've found)
 Beth Israel - The West Temple - 1954 (text only, good, history ends in early 1990s)
 B'nai Jeshurun  - 1866 (old style with tiny images, still the best of the "shul" history pages)
 Cedar Road Synagogue - Kehillat Yaakov - 1899 (well written, text only, stops ca. 1990)
 Green Road Synagogue - 1910 (mentions only one rabbi and no events after 1972)
 Heights Jewish Center  - 1860 ? (text only, good History should start in 1860, not 1922)
 Kol HaLev - 1993 (good, up-to-date but text only)
 Oheb Zedek - Taylor Road Synagogue - 1904 (good, short, well illustrated page)
 Park Synagogue - 1857 (good but ends in 1992)
 Shaarey Tikvah  - 1940 (short, with only two images)
 Suburban Temple - Kol Ami - 1948  (all text, up-to-date.)
 The Temple-Tifereth Israel - 1850  (regressing - once had images and is now text only)


(1) The Jewish Family Services Association, founded as the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, has been changing to meet community needs since 1875. Its History page, once blank, now offers a video: Faces Not Forgotten - A JFSA Retrospective. But for those whose internet setup doesn't support video or who aren't willing to devote 12 minutes to watching the video, there is no other history - no text, no images - about the Jewish organization with perhaps the richest history of all.

Technical problem:

The video about JFSA's history must be viewed with Apple's QuickTime® software. As shown on the screen image to the right, using the latest free version of QuickTime on a PC or a Mac shows the video (dark rectangle in center) in a small window that viewers can't make larger. That's too small to enjoy the video. There are free video players (Windows Media Player ® and RealPlayer ®) that allow full-screen viewing. JFSA - please change your History page so we can use them.

click to watch video

Update: early in 2011 the page changed: eight lines of text, which read like a mission statement, not a history, were added. The video, instead of being viewable full-screen, was deleted.

(2) Montefiore's 128 years and counting is a long, well-illustrated chronology since 1882.  This page is well crafted and easy to read. It is a model for other organizations to follow - not just in the way it presents history, giving credit to many who helped shape it, but also in its balance between images and text and because it is being kept up to date.

(3) Federation's History page, probably written by the late Judah Rubenstein (1921-2003), is an excellent narration of the history of our community. (Because it is so rich in "learn more" links, we prefer the JEWS & JUDAISM page on the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.) But only a few lines are about Federation's own history - the more than a century of growth and change that have made it one of our nation's leading Federations. Not mentioned are the 2010 change in name and move to Beachwood. (A linked page of logos over the years does show the new name.) This History page, which could have linked to more than 20 websites, links to only one. (Might it be the "shul" of the web programmer?)

Those who want to learn more about the story of Federation are fortunate that in 2003, as part of its 100th anniversary celebration, Federation staff created a 32-page document on its history and published it on its website. Pages 4-11 are the most detailed history available on the web. A bonus: the history of 17 major agencies are on pages 12 - 22. This document is hard to find. We suggest:

1) Use this link 
2) Google cleveland federation century book. It is a pdf document.
3) Go to
    Then use the site's "search" feature, but not for history. Search for century book.

A link from their History page would make it easy to find this very useful document.

Webkeeper's note:
This page was
created January 2007 and last completely reviewed in August 2010
. The opinions expressed are based on my experience creating synagogue and other Jewish websites since 1998. Corrections and comments are welcome.
Arnold Berger  Email arnie AT clevelandjewishhistory DOT net

Top of Page       Virtual History of Other Institutions      Resources      CJH Home