The Tifereth Israel congregation was established in 1850, making it Cleveland's second oldest active Jewish 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's inclusion of sanctuary seating for 2,000 reflected the congregation's growing popularity. In 1969, Tifereth Israel also opened a branch in the eastern suburb of Beachwood.
The congregation has 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. The congregation gets its name from the Hebrew phrase "tifereth Israel," which means "glory to Israel".