return to Home page About This Cleveland Jewish History Website  

"A people's memory is history; and as a man without a memory, so
 a people without a history cannot grow wiser, better." 
I. L. Peretz

Our Mission

The aim of is to present more Cleveland Jewish history to more persons by:

  • Developing web pages to make it easier to find online content.

  • Increasing our web-based history with pages on this site created by myself and other interested persons.

  • Encouraging organizations to present their history on the web, on this site or their own.

This website is a work in progress. It began in 1998 when I was working on my first website, for the wedding of my youngest daughter, who was being married at The Temple at University Circle. This stirred memories of Abba Hillel Silver who had been my rabbi. Soon I was creating a page of links to web pages about him. (To see that page, click here.) In a few years that page had grown to a 20 page website - the only one on Cleveland's leading Jewish citizen. In January 2007 those pages became the nucleus of this website which, as we show on How This Website Evolved, has since grown to more than 460 pages and 290,000 page views a year.

Since 2007 the content of many pages has been furnished by others (see our
Contributors page). May that trend continue, for so many of us have stories and pictures to share.

Your comments and participation are welcome.

Arnie Berger

Meet the Editor - WebkeeperArnold Berger


First - a disclosure. I went to Brooklyn Technical High School. Not Brooklyn near Cleveland; Brooklyn as in New York.

That means some of you who were born here will never consider me a Clevelander. Yes, I remember the Tasty Shop on Euclid Avenue, Abba Hillel Silver, George Szell, Clarks Restaurant at Shaker Square, and Shaker Rapid tokens that cost a quarter.

But for those my age who still ask "Where did you go to school?" (which for them means high school), I confess.

I came here in June 1954. I had earned an industrial engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and had just graduated from MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Why Cleveland? I was interested in manufacturing. (Back then it was what we did best.) Large companies had management training programs that required several job and location changes over two or three years. Then they would decide what my job would be and where I would work. A city boy, I couldn't deal with even the smallest chance of being told to move to say Fargo North Dakota. Only Lincoln Electric offered employment in one location only -- and then we were the nation's seventh largest city.

I left Lincoln in 1957, taught at Case, earned a PhD there in 1963 and left to teach at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. I returned in 1966 to work on the federation of Case and Western Reserve to form CWRU, then served as Associate Director of the Cleveland Commission on Higher Education.

In 1971, after three years as an executive in a computer software business, I joined the Computer Science faculty in the College of Business at Cleveland State University, I left CSU in 1976 to start a company that provided software, networking, and timesharing. We developed accounting and database systems for mid size and large law firms, plus the Cleveland Foundation and the Cleveland Orchestra. All that ended in 1994.

My website work, which began in 1998, has generally been long-term. My role, as with this, my primary website, has been webmaster (creator of pages), author and researcher, and also editor, working with others. The sites include Abba Hillel Silver, a memorial to Luboml - a vanished shtetl, Cleveland Jewish History, Council Gardens, the Aaron Garber Library, plus some commercial websites. My SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work helped websites rank high on searches.

Since 2004 I've been an internet activist for my Shaker Square neighborhood, creating websites for the Ludlow Community Association and the Larchmere Merchants.

For years I was webkeeper for Congregation Kol HaLev, the Jewish Reconstructionist movement, and the magazine Jewish Currents.

It was a great pleasure to write the "From the Archive" column in the Cleveland Jewish News for a year, ending in October 2011.

In December 2017 I started a Facebook group Jewish History Hub

Welcome to these pages.

Arnie Berger


See how this site evolved over the years.