TEMPLE EMANU EL, organized in 1947, was the third Jewish Reform congregation in Cleveland, formed almost 100 years after ANSHE CHESED and TIFERETH ISRAEL. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations asked Rabbi Alan S. Green, a native of Cleveland, to form a congregation to attract unaffiliated Jews, who represented half of the city's Jewish population. Anshe Chesed and Tifereth Israel each provided 6 members from their respective boards of trustees to assist in the planning. Green's goal was to establish a family-centered, nonformal, "singing congregation." The first service was in Aug. 1947; by the end of its second year, Emanu El had a membership of 500 families and 550 students in its religious school, directed by Sophie Herman.
Emanu El's services were initially held at Plymouth Church and BELLEFAIRE, religious school classes met at Moreland Public School, and the congregation's band practiced at Sol & Joe's Garage in CLEVELAND HTS. In the early 1950s, a synagogue designed by SIGMUND BRAVERMAN and Moses Halperin was constructed on Green Rd. near Cedar Rd. and dedicated on 4 June 1954. An addition, the Rabbi Alan S. Green/Frances Green Religious School was dedicated on 6 Feb. 1977. Affiliate groups at Emanu El included: the Sisterhood (1947), which assisted the JEWISH COMMUNITY FEDERATION, UNITED WAY SERVICES, and Ben Shemen Children's Village in Israel; the Brotherhood (1948), which sponsored a blood bank and cultural programs; a Couples' Club (1950), which integrated new and prospective members and included over 150 couples by the mid-1970s; and the Young People's Congregation, (1963) for members 35 years old and under. In 1987 Emanu El renovated Saltzman Hall and Sanctuary. By the 1990s, Emanu El's circulation library held over 17,000 volumes. In 1995 Daniel A. Roberts served as rabbi for the congregation's 730 family units. Deena Prigosin was executive director.