Cemetery - 1887 10,500 burials
this Google Satellite View ® of Mayfield Cemetery in
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, north is at the left,
east at the top. Coventry Road, which runs
north-south, is at the top. Mayfield Road, which
runs east-north-east, is in the upper right.
Hillel Silver's gravesite is in the southwest (lower
right) corner, marked on this image by a small gold circle.
In 1887 Tifereth Israel (today The Temple - Tifereth
Israel) was on Huron Road and East 6th and their
cemetery was only a half acre, next to the
Street Cemetery. But a trend as old as
Cleveland - the better-established residents
moving east to newer housing - was accelerating as
immigrants poured in to the low cost housing in
the old neighborhoods.
Tifereth Israel would soon buy land for a new
synagogue on Willson Avenue (East 55th). Looking far
ahead, they secured 20 acres of
land for a
cemetery on Mayfield Road, a mile beyond the city's
The property was then in East Cleveland Township.
(The hamlet of Cleveland Heights had been created in
1901, incorporated as a village in 1903, and as a
city in 1921.)
We show below a
segment of an 1898 map of East Cleveland Township,
showing Lake View Cemetery and its Jewish section,
where Mayfield Cemetery is today. The map suggests
that Mayfield Cemetery was a section of Lake View.
It was independently owned by United Jewish
Cemeteries. We hope to find and
display the original deeds of sale.
From an 1898 map of East Cleveland
Township Cleveland Public Library Digital
Three years later Anshe Chesed
(today Anshe Chesed
Fairmount Temple), then on Scovill Avenue at East 25th and often called The
Scovill Road Synagogue, joined with Tifereth Israel
to form United Jewish Cemeteries to control Mayfield
This joint control continues today.
Originally open to all Jews, members or not, the
cemetery changed its rules in 1928. Burials would now be
limited to members in good standing of these two Reform
Why this restriction and why in 1928?
In 1890 the two congregations had a total membership of less
than 400 families. But the great wave of immigration (1880-1924) would cause Cleveland's Jewish population to soar - from 3,500
in 1880 to 85,000 in 1925. Many new congregations, first Orthodox, then Conservative, would form. Yet
for 97 years (1851 - 1947) no new Reform congregations would
By the mid-1920s the congregations -
Silver's (Tifereth Israel) and Brickner's (Anshe
Chesed) as many called them - were among the nation's largest, with a combined membership of more than
4,000 families. From this we infer that while in the early years the cemetery's 20 acres would have been seen as more space
than they would ever need, by 1928 it was regarded as not having enough room for nonmembers.