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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HEIGHTS JEWISH CENTER

HEIGHTS JEWISH CENTER

The HEIGHTS JEWISH CENTER, established on 1 July 1923 as the Heights Orthodox Congregation, was the first Jewish congregation in Cleveland's eastern SUBURBS. It initially met in the home of Jacob Makoff on Euclid Hts. Blvd. in CLEVELAND HTS. Four years later, the congregation purchased and remodeled a brick building at 14274 Superior. Jacob Berkowitz served as the first president. In 1936 Seymour Zambrowsky, ordained at Cleveland's short-lived Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary of America, was the congregation's first ordained rabbi. In 1937 the congregation changed its name to the Heights Jewish Center, to appeal to young local Jewish families. By 1940 membership had grown from the initial 30 families to over 250, with approx. 80% of the members under the age of 40. ISRAEL PORATH, Cleveland's leading Orthodox rabbi, assumed the pulpit in 1946 and served until retiring in 1972. In 1947 the congregation merged with Beth Hamidrash Hagodol (established in 1865 by Lithuanian Jews), a congregation seeking to move out of GLENVILLE. In 1948 Beth Hamidrash Hagodol Ohave Emuna-The Heights Jewish Center, known popularly by the final 4 words of its name, began construction of a new synagogue at 14270 Cedar Rd., near Green, in UNIV. HTS. In 1951 the congregation merged with BETH HAKNESSETH ANSHE GRODNO following 4 years of controversy. In 1995, Rabbi Daniel Schur served the congregation's 300 families.


Heights Jewish Center Records, WRHS.

See also RELIGION, JEWS AND JUDAISM.