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Cleveland's Old Still-Standing Synagogues

 
 

The still-standing structures - Cleveland's old synagogues

On this page we try to identify all the still-standing structures in Cleveland that were once home to a Jewish congregation.  We show these buildings in this order: mid-town (East 38th - East 55th), Glenville, Mount Pleasant and Shaker Heights. Given the Jewish community's continual movement to the east, this is also roughly in chronological order.

For congregations still with us, we provide a link to the History page of their website.

Nate Arnold has been leading tours of old Jewish Cleveland for many years. Many of the pictures below were taken on those tours. He has furnished the material for a virtual tour of old Jewish Cleveland. To follow Nate's Tour, click here

 

Oheb Zedek Congregation
On East 38th Street and Scovill (Community College) Avenue. Founded by members who left B'nai Jeshurun, wanting to remain Orthodox. Built in 1905. Left in 1921 for Morison Avenue and Parkwood Drive in Glenville (below)
Building is now the Triedstone Baptist Church.
For a photo of Jewish Carpenters Union members standing in front of this building in 1911, click here.
For a 1976 photo in Cleveland Memory, click here.

B'nai Jeshurun       website history page
On East 55th Street and Scovill
Also known as "The Hungarian Shul"
Congregation moved here in 1906 from Eagle Street (it had occupied the former home of Anshe Chesed) and changed from Orthodox to Conservative.
In 1926 they moved to Mayfield Road as "The Temple on the Heights". Building is now the Shiloh Baptist Church. Since 1980 they have been in Pepper Pike, returning to their Hebrew name B'nai Jeshurun.

Willson Avenue Temple  (Tifereth Israel)
East 55th Street
Reform
Occupied 1894 - 1924
Rabbis Moses Gries, then Abba Hillel Silver
Then moved to University Circle (below)

Now the home of Friendship Baptist Church.
website history page

Euclid Avenue Temple
Euclid Avenue at 82nd Street
Now Anshe Chesed - Fairmount Temple
Reform
Occupied 1912 - 1957
Rabbis Louis Wolsey, Barnett Brickner
Congregation moved to Fairmount Boulevard in Beachwood in 1957
Building now owned by Liberty Hill Baptist Church
click to learn more

Oheb Zedek Congregation   Built in 1921
Morison Avenue and Parkwood Drive in Glenville
Orthodox
Samuel Benjamin, then Israel Porath, rabbis
In the 1950s moved to Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights. Building is now Parkwood CME Church.
Congregation now known as Oheb Zedek - Taylor Road Synagogue

Morison Avenue Bath House
Morison Avenue in Glenville
Built in 1920s
Also used as a Mikveh
Now a Baptist church
 

Tetiever Ahavath Achim Anshe Sfard
954 Linn Drive in Glenville
Orthodox
Moved from East 40th and Woodland to this building in 1926. Interior has a Sephardic plan, with the bimah facing the Ark. Balcony for women. For more on their first shul, dedicated in 1914, click here. In 1957 they constructed what became, with the merger of N'Vai Zedek and The Kinsman Jewish Center, Warrensville Center Synagogue.
Now owned by True Vine Baptist Church.
Chibas Jerusalem
877 Parkwood Drive in Glenville
Orthodox

Merged with Oheb Zedek-Taylor Road Synagogue in 1952. Building became a church and currently is not occupied. Though the building seems to be beyond repair, you can see one of its beautiful stained glass windows on display at the Maltz Museum. On Nov 7, 2013 a rear section of the building collapsed. more Weeks later the the city had the unsafe structure demolished.

More images here
Small "shul" on East 105th Street in Glenville
More information later
Cleveland Jewish Center
1117 East 105th Street
Anshe Emeth Beth Tefilo - now Park Synagogue
Then Orthodox, became Conservative in the late 20s
Occupied 1921 -1947
Rabbis Solomon Goldman, Harry Davidowitz and Armond Cohen
When congregation moved to Cleveland Heights building bought by Cory United Methodist Church
click to learn more
The Temple
East 107th Street and Ansel Road
Now The Temple-Tifereth Israel  Reform
Occupied 1924, still in use, though the main facility is now in Beachwood.
Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver, Daniel Jeremy Silver
School building rented by charter school.

March 2010 it was announced that building will become Maltz Performing Arts Center of CWRU

click to learn more
Ohave Emmuna Congregation
7115 Cedar Avenue. Now Sardis Baptist Church. Jeff Morris has identified it as Ohave Emnuna (Orthodox), that would later become part of the Heights Jewish Center.
 
N'Vai Zedek Congregation
East 119th Street and Union Avenue
Mount Pleasant (Kinsman) area
Constructed in 1922.
Rabbi Israel Porath served here in the 1940's.
Would later become part of Warrensville Center Synagogue Kehillat Yaakov.
Kinsman Jewish Center
B'nai Jacob Kol Israel (Orthodox)
East 146th Street and Kinsman Avenue
Founded in 1930 by members of Anshe Mamoresher B'nai Jacob Congregation.
Rabbis David Genuth (1933-48), Jacob Muskin (1948)
Building dedicated in 1932, sold in 1958.
Merged with Tetiever Ahavath Achim Anshe Sfard and Neveh Zedek to form Warrensville Center Synagogue. more (ECH) For more on Kehillat Yaakov (Warrensville Center Synagogue) and the Cedar Road Synagogue, click here
Beth El Temple
Founded 1950, building 1954   Modern Orthodox
Rabbi David Genuth. On 15808 Chagrin Road, near the border of Cleveland, First synagogue in Shaker Heights. Sold building in 1998 to a credit union. Merged with Heights Synagogue creating Beth El - the Heights Synagogue which bought Sinai Synagogue's building in Cleveland Heights in 2003. Described itself as "egalitarian/traditional".

Shaker Lee Synagogue
3688 Lee Road in Shaker Heights, near the border of Warrensville Heights. Orthodox.
Formed by the 1959 merger of Ohel Jacob and Ohel Yavne congregations. Rabbi Isaac Krislov.
In 1962 joined by Tifereth Israel (Orthodox).
Building dedicated in 1961. Sold in 1970.
In 1972 merged with Warrensville Center Synagogue.
Now owned by Chapel of Hope Christian Fellowship.

THE WEST SIDE
Beth Israel - The West Temple
Reform  14308 Trinket Road.    website
Organized in April 1954. Merged with the West Side Jewish Center (Bnai Israel) in 1957. Later that year began to use the building that the WSJC had built. The congregation is the last one whose home is within the Cleveland city limits. (The Temple - Tifereth Israel still uses its University Circle building, but its home is in Beachwood.) In the meetings of the West Temple's Social Justice Committee, the grass roots Free Soviet Jewry movement was born.
   

 

These digital sources helped create these summaries:
   ● The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History,
   ● the archives of the Cleveland Jewish News, and
   ● the archives of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Thanks to Nate Arnold and Jeff Morris for their help in these summaries.

All photos by Arnold Berger, except for two picture postcards.

● For more on Cleveland's old synagogues, see the Jeffrey Morris pages
Nate Arnold's tour of old Jewish Cleveland includes most of these buildings.
More on American synagogue buildings.

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