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Below: This beautiful picture of Cleveland's Holocaust Memorial was found on the Memorial page of the Kol Israel Foundation. It was taken soon after the Ohio Historical Marker was dedicated in September 2017.
Photo courtesy Mark S. Frank



The Kol Israel Foundation was founded by holocaust survivors on February 15, 1959 in Cleveland. 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.


On the back of the granite memorial are inscribed the names of family members remembered, and a prayer by Rabbi Isadore Pickholtz.



In 1996 the center momument was encircled by a low wall of gray granite, on whose panels are inscribed the names of 1,300 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 by Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Peace Laureate, can be found above the entrance to the national memorial in Washington D.C. and on more than 26,000 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 by Arnold Berger. mid-afternoon May 4, 2011

DEDICATION CEREMONY  Sunday May 28, 1961

Thousands were at Zion Memorial Park for the dedication of what the Jewish Independent called "Cleveland's Memorial to Six Million Jewish Martyrs". Dressed respectfully, men and women with covered heads. Many had supported the building of the memorial, making sure that the names of their loved ones were inscribed on it. Their relatives who had perished in the gas chambers, or in the killing fields, now had a place with their names. At last, there was a place to mourn them.

Jewish War Veterans marching. Dignitaries included Cleveland Mayor Celebrese.  Rebman Photographers


2010 — Kol Israel Foundation Receives Charles Eisenman Award

Our 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 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

September 2017 — Ohio Historical Marker erected
The Kol Israel Foundation's Holocaust Memorial is the site of the annual community commemoration of the Holocaust on the Sunday between the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On September 26, 2017 the ceremony included the dedication of the recently-awarded Ohio Historical Marker. The 28-page program for that day is a treasure for its history of the memorial and lists of those remembered.  We are pleased to share it here as a PDF document.

Thanks to Avi Goldman of Kol Israel Foundation for his help creating this page in 2011,
and to KIF past president Mark S Frank for his help expanding it in 2022.

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