Filed Under Religion

Temple-Tifereth Israel

The Tifereth Israel congregation was established in 1850, after several members left the Anshe Chesed congregation. It moved to its synagogue in University Circle in 1924, vacating its Wilson Avenue (East 55th Street) Temple dedicated in 1894. Designed by architect Charles R. Greco, the East 105th Street Temple provided sanctuary seating for 2,000, a reflection of the congregation's large size. In 1969, Tifereth Israel also opened a branch in the eastern suburb of Beachwood. This branch later became the congregation's primary home. In 2010 Case Western Reserve University partnered with the Temple to form the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center in the historic structure, which opened five years later.

The Tifereth-Israel congregation, whose name was derived from the Hebrew phrase meaning "glory to Israel," had a rich history within several national and international movements of the Jewish faith, shown most markedly in the congregation's early adoption of Reform Judaism and its embrace of Zionism in the early twentieth century. Temple-Tifereth Israel's notable rabbis include Moses J. Gries (rabbi from 1892-1917), a major proponent of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver (rabbi from 1917-1963) who became an international figure in the Zionist movement. Rabbi Silver's stature is memorialized in the decision to name the Maltz Performing Arts Center's repurposed sanctuary Silver Hall.

In 2024, following an eighteen-month period of discussion, members of Temple Tifereth-Israel and Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple voted to merge and form Mishkan Or, whose name means "place of light." The historic merger reunified two large, thriving congregations 175 years after they split.

Audio

Rabbi Silver And Zionism Ruth Dancyer of Temple-Tifereth Israel talks about Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver and his connection to the international Zionist movement Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
Walking into the Sanctuary Ruth Dancyger describes the aesthetics of the temple Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
Early History of the Temple Ruth Dancyger describes the Temple's beginning Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
A Very Spiritual Feeling Sue Koletsky talks about the spiritual character of the Temple Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

Images

The Temple in Winter
The Temple in Winter Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1927
"Charity"
"Charity" "Charity" stained glass window and sacred texts on display at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in University Circle. Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Huron Street Synagogue
Huron Street Synagogue The Tifereth Israel congregation was originally established in 1850. Its synagogue at the intersection of Huron and Miami Streets was dedicated in December 1855. Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Food For Israel, 1949
Food For Israel, 1949 Food for Israel Campaign, 1949. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver (reading, center-left) became a globally recognized leader in the movement to establish a sovereign state of Israel. This goal was realized in 1948, leading to a year of war during which food in Israel became scarce. Jewish organizations in Cleveland rallied aid in support of Israel. Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1949
University Circle Synagogue, ca. 1930
University Circle Synagogue, ca. 1930 Postcard sketch of "The Temple" in University Circle, ca. 1930 Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Temple Exterior
Temple Exterior Designed by architect Chas. R. Greco, the East 105th Street Temple's inclusion of sanctuary seating for 2,000 reflected the congregation's growing popularity. Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1933
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver Silver is pictured here soon after his arrival in Cleveland in 1917. He was Rabbi at Tifereth-Israel from 1917 until his death in 1963, overseeing the congregation during a period of expansion while continuing to serve as a leading figure in the American Zionist movement. Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1917
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver Rabbi Silver (left) is shown with his wife Virginia Horkheimer and J. M. Berne, President of the Jewish Welfare Federation, in 1940. Source: Cleveland Memory, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1940
Maltz Performing Arts Center
Maltz Performing Arts Center In 2010 Case Western Reserve University partnered with the Temple to form the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center in the historic structure, which opened five years later. The complex includes Silver Hall, the former sanctuary, as well as a new, state-of-the-art theater called Roe Green Theatre. Creator: J. Mark Souther Date: March 13, 2024
Untitled

Location

1855 Ansel Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106

Metadata

CSU Center for Public History and Digital Humanities, “Temple-Tifereth Israel,” Cleveland Historical, accessed April 21, 2024, https://clevelandhistorical.org/index.php/items/show/40.