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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS

CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS

The CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS became heir to the tradition of the city's English-language Jewish press in 1964, when it was born of the merger of the Jewish Review & Observer with the Jewish Independent. It could be traced back to the founding of Cleveland's first Jewish newspaper, the Hebrew Observer, by Hiram Straus and Sam Oppenheimer on 5 July 1889. Oppenheimer then teamed with Jack Machol in 1893 to start the Jewish Review, which was purchased 3 years later by Dan S. Wertheimer. Both weeklies were merged by Wertheimer in 1899 into the Jewish Review & Observer, which remained in the control of the family for the next 65 years. Established on 9 Mar. 1906, the Jewish Independent became another family enterprise when Maurice Weidenthal of the PLAIN DEALER became editor several weeks later. Circulation had approached 20,000 by 1917 when Weidenthal died and was succeeded by his brother, Leo. A renowned literary and theatrical scholar, LEO WEIDENTHAL guided the Independent for nearly 50 years. His impending retirement in 1964 served as the catalyst for a reorganization of Cleveland's Jewish press by a civic group incorporated as the Cleveland Jewish Publication Co. Headed by Lloyd S. Schwenger, the board drew upon a credit of $155,000 to purchase both the Independent and the Jewish Review & Observer, which published their last editions on 23 Oct. 1964. Under the editorship of Arthur Weyne, the Cleveland Jewish News made its bow as a 32-page tabloid on 30 Oct. 1964. Circulation was maintained at 15,000-20,000, while average size ranged from 48 to 72 pages. Weyne was succeeded as editor by Jerry D. Barach. Cynthia Dettelbach became editor in 1980. Since 1989 the paper has been located at 3645 Warrensville Ctr. Rd. In 1995 the CJN had a circulation of 15,000 and annually received awards of excellence for its local Jewish Community-oriented feature articles. Harry Scharf served as general manager.


The Cleveland Jewish Publication Co. Records, WRHS.