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The Kol Israel Foundation was founded by holocaust survivors in Cleveland on February 15, 1959. They built what some call "the place for those with no place to mourn" in Zion Memorial Park,  dedicating it on May 28, 1961. It may be our nation's first free-standing community holocaust memorial.

In 2010 Kol Israel received the Charles Eisenman Award, our Jewish community's highest award for service.


Zion Memorial Park is a Jewish cemetery located in  Bedford Heights, south-east of Cleveland Ohio. Its main entrance is at 5461 Northfield Road, north of Rockside Road. Congregations Beth Am, Bethaynu, Shaarey Tikvah and many more have sections here.

The Cleveland holocaust memorial was built here because the cemetery donated the land. The monument was designed by Mr. Ed Kotecki Jr. and built and installed by Kotecki Monuments. The ring of granite with names etched on it that was added in 1999 was created by Classic Memorials and Mr. Vladimir Konstantinovsky.

In the Google Satellite view to the right the memorial is shown as the white object in the upper oval area.

Read the Cleveland Jewish News April 9, 2010 story by Arlene Fine.




click for a much larger image

For a much larger image, click here

Beneath this monument repose
ashes of our brethren from the
concentration camps of Europe
1933 - 1945
Their memory will be enshrined
in our hearts forever.

The back of the granite memorial is inscribed with a prayer provided
by Rabbi Isadore Pickholtz and the names of family members remembered.



In 1996 a low wall of gray granite was constructed to encircle the center monument. On its panels have been inscribed 1,300 names of family members who died in the  holocaust. Panels also thank the armed forces of the United States and Israel, recognize those who helped fund the project, and display the words of President Dwight Eisenhower and Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel.



President Eisenhower's letter to General George Marshall continued  "I made the visit deliberately in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda'. ...."

"For the dead and the living we must bear witness."
These words spoken by Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Peace Laureate, can also be found above the entrance to the national memorial in Washington D.C. and on more than 10,000 web pages. Wiesel continued "For not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are also responsible for what we are doing with those memories."

The photos above were taken by webkeeper Arnold Berger mid-afternoon May 4, 2011.


The dedication ceremony on Sunday May 28, 1961.
Jewish War Veterans marching. Dignitaries included Cleveland Mayor Celebrese.  Rebman Photographers
Read Plain Dealer story May 29, 1961

2010 — Kol Israel Foundation Receives Charles Eisenman Award

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland's highest recognition for community service is named for Charles Eisenman, who helped found Federation in 1903 and served as its president for 20 years. In April 2010 the award was given to the Kol Israel Foundation.

President Leo Silberman, a trustee of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, asked the museum if they would look after it. In October 2010 the award was unveiled in a small ceremony held at the Maltz Museum. On your next visit look for it hanging in their lobby, near the entrance.


Leo Silberman, Albert Ratner
and the award at the Maltz Museum

2016 — Ohio Historical Marker erected

Thanks to Avi Goldman of Kol Israel Foundation for his help creating this page on Cleveland's holocaust memorial.

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