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WIESENFELD, LEON

WIESENFELD, LEON (7 Feb. 1885-1 March 1971) wielded considerable influence in Cleveland's Jewish community as editor of various Yiddish and English-language newspapers. He was born in Rzeszow, Poland, and worked for various Polish and German publications before emigrating to America. Married in 1912 to Esther Wiesenfeld, he worked in New York for Abraham Cahan's famous Jewish Daily Forward before coming to Cleveland in 1924. For 10 years Wiesenfeld served as associate editor of the YIDDISHE VELT (Jewish World), Cleveland's principal Yiddish-language newspaper, before succeding owner Samuel Rocker as editor in 1934. In 1938 he left the World to establish an English-Yiddish weekly, Die Yiddishe Stimme (Jewish Voice), which failed after about a year. He then began publishing an English-language annual called the Jewish Voice Pictorial, which endured into the 1950s. His extra-journalistic writing included a novel, The Rabbi's Daughter, 2 plays performed in Yiddish theaters of Cleveland and other cities, and an account of Jewish life in Cleveland in the 1920s and 1930s. Wiesenfeld was also active in Jewish affairs, notably as an organizer of the Cleveland Zionist Society and a director of the Jewish Orphan Home (see ORTHODOX JEWISH CHILDREN'S HOME). A resident of CLEVELAND HTS., he was survived by his wife.


Leon Wiesenfeld Papers, WRHS.