Filed Under Religion

Temple-Tifereth Israel

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. 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 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".

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

"Charity" "Charity" stained glass window and sacred texts on display at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in University Circle. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
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. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
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. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
University Circle Synagogue, ca. 1930 Postcard sketch of "The Temple" in University Circle, ca. 1930 Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Temple Exterior, 1933 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. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
The Temple In Winter, 1927 Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, 1917 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. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, 1940 Rabbi Silver (left) is shown with his wife Virginia Horkheimer and J. M Berne, President of the Jewish Welfare Federation, in 1940. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections

Location

1855 Ansel Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106

Metadata

“Temple-Tifereth Israel,” Cleveland Historical, accessed January 28, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/40.