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SAMPLINER, HERMAN

SAMPLINER, HERMAN (8 Nov. 1835-5 Dec. 1899) was an activist in the Cleveland Jewish community and the founding president of the B'NAI JESHURUNcongregation, the third oldest Jewish congregation in Greater Cleveland.

Son of Joseph and Lena Sampliner, he was born in Lemes, Hungary, and along with two brothers came to Cleveland in 1864. In Cleveland, he tried his hand as a merchant, selling liquor, then shoes, and then appliances. His most enduring involvement was as a tavern keeper, his establishment located downtown on Ontario Street.

Sampliner greatest interest, however, was in his support of Jewish causes. Clelveland's Hungarian Jewish population had been too small to have its own congregation, but Sampliner organized those interested, and his home on California Alley became the site for B'Nai Jeshurun's first worship service, with sixteen in attendance. He was also a member of Sons of Benjamin, Sons of Israel, Knights of Joseph, Kesher Shel Barzel, Knights of Pythias, and B'NAI B'RITH. He served as treasurer of the Hungarian Aid Society and was president of the Ladies Legal Aid Society.

In 1892 he founded the Young Ladies' Hebrew Association and served as its president. The association was committed to alleviating the suffering of the sick, and among its aims was establishing a Jewish Hospital in the city. The efforts of the Association led to the 1902 founding of a small hospital which became the forerunner of today's MT. SINAI MEDICAL CENTER.

Sampliner married twice. His first wife, Sallie Klein, bore him four children, Adele, Joseph, Lena, and Armand. After her death in 1887, Sampliner married Rebecca Stern on 13 May 1888. Sampliner is buried in Fir Street Cemetery in Cleveland.