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The final resting place of Abba Hillel Silver  ●  Mayfield Cemetery, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Left to right are the graves of Virginia Horkheimer Silver, Abba Hillel Silver and their son Daniel Jeremy Silver.
The plot is designated as section 7A of the Family Mausoleum section of the cemetery.

On Sunday December 1, 1963, in a private ceremony with his long-time assistant Rabbi Leon Feuer officiating, the body of Abba Hillel Silver was buried in the southwestern corner of Mayfield Cemetery in Cleveland Heights, only two miles from The Temple at University Circle that he served for 46 years.

The wide, deep plot is the largest and most simple in this 130-year old cemetery. In the center of the plot, under a magnolia tree, is the monument: a boulder.
One year later, on Sunday morning November 29, 1964,  The Temple held a service in his memory and dedicated his Archives, which would later move to the Western Reserve Historical Society. Though there was no public announcement of an "unveiling" ceremony, we believe it took place that weekend.

In 1984 the body of Virginia Horkheimer Silver was interred in this plot next to her husband, followed in 1989 by their son, Rabbi Daniel Jeremy Silver, only 61.


More about this boulder

On his grave stone (shown below) is, in Hebrew, "O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." The boulder is surely a reference to
Rock of Israel. "Tzur Yisroel" - Rock of Israel were also the words that were the first spoken at his funeral service.

A 1997 story in the Cleveland Jewish News, found in their online archive, said that the boulder was brought here from Israel. While speaking to Mina Kulber, whose memories of The Temple go back to the 1940s, we learned that after the story had been published Abba Hillel Silver's son Raphael wrote her that he had arranged for the boulder to be brought to the gravesite and that it was from Ohio - not from Israel.

In June 2011 we asked Raphael Silver who replied in an email "The boulder that marks my father's grave was part of a glacial deposit in central Ohio. It was located with the help of a landscape designer, Gilbert Leppelmeier, and hauled by truck to Mayfield Cemetery where my brother, Daniel and I sited it and, with Gil's help, determined the appropriate landscaping which included planting the magnolia tree."

The pink granite boulder weighs about 15 tons. Such rocks, carried from far north by glacial ice perhaps 10,000 years ago, are more than 500 million years old.



1893   1963

יְהוָה ,צוּרִי וְגֹאֲלִי

O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer

Psalm 19 verse 15


1897    1984

עֹז-וְהָדָר לְבוּשָׁהּ

Strength and dignity are her clothing

Proverbs 31:25
(the "Woman of Valor")


1928    1989

שְׁמָר-תָּם וּרְאֵה יָשָׁר

Mark the man of integrity, and behold the upright

Psalms 37 verse 37

Thanks to these contributors to this Abba Hillel Silver Gravesite page
 ●  Comments by email Landscaping and boulder information: Raphael Silver  ●   Burial: Adele Z Silver  ●  
 ●  Hebrew translation, Zviah Nardi   ●  CJN story: Marilyn Karfeld   ●   Cemetery information: Pat Corrigan   ●
●   Satellite View: Google   ●   Large photos: Robert N. Brown   ●  Gravestone photos: Arnold Berger   ●
 ●   Rock information: Joe Hannibal at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Mina Kulber   ●  

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