Category: Immigration and Ethnicity

AACCESS-OHIO, the Arab American Community Center for Economic & Social Services in Ohio, was established in December 1991 as a nonprofit service organization and community center. Its mission is to meet the economic, social, and cultural needs of Cleveland's Arab American community, and to promote better understanding of Arab culture while integrating Arab Americans into the mainstream of American life.

The AITANEET BROTHERHOOD ASSN., a Lebanese-American hometown society, was formed in 1927 by a group of natives from Aitaneet in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. The association has aided needy Lebanese and Syrians in Cleveland and in the village of Aitaneet, helping to build schools and other facilities there.

ALBANIANS are today one of Greater Cleveland's most prominent ethnic communities, growing significantly since the fall of communism in Albania in 1992. They arrived in Cleveland in four distinct waves: late 19th century (1890s), early 20th century (1900-1938), post-World War II (1945-1992), and after the fall of communism (1992-present). 

The ALLIANCE OF POLES OF AMERICA was established in Cleveland on 22 Sept. 1895 by 68 dissatisfied members of Group 143 of the Polish National Alliance (PNA), who disagreed with the PNA's decision to admit as members POLES who were not Catholic (see CATHOLICS, ROMAN).

The ALLIANCE OF TRANSYLVANIAN SAXONS, organized on 1 May 1895 in Cleveland as the Transylvanian Saxon Sick Benefit Society, is a national fraternal society with headquarters and 4 branches in Cleveland. Created by 27 men, George Sift, a machinist, served as the first president.

The ALSBACHER PARTY was a group of Jews from Unsleben, Bavaria, who came to Cleveland in 1839 and were instrumental in establishing a viable Jewish community in the city. The party brought with it an ethical testament of the Jewish values to guide the formation of the new community.

ALTA HOUSE, one of the city's oldest SETTLEMENT HOUSES, was established in 1895 as a day nursery for working Italian immigrant women in LITTLE ITALY.

AMERICAN INDIANS. The tiny Indian community of early 20th-century Cleveland was largely a transient one. (For previous Indian residents of the WESTERN RESERVE area, see PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS.) Census statistics show only 2 Indians resident in the city in 1900; 48 in 1910; and 34 in 1920.

The AMERICAN MUTUAL LIFE ASSN., a fraternal insurance society established on 11 November 1910 as Slovenska Dobrodelna Zveza (Slovenian Mutual Benefit Assn.), in 1994 was the largest Slovenian-American organization in Ohio. By 1910 over a dozen Slovenian fraternal benefit societies operated in the city. All were small, independent lodges, except for a handful affiliated with national organizations based in other states.


AMERICKE DELNICKE LISTY (American Labor News), once the only Czech-language socialist weekly in the country, evolved in 1908 out of a mimeographed weekly founded by Karel Pintner. Located in Cleveland's Czech neighborhood on "Old Broadway," it was edited early in its career by JOSEPH MARTINEK and subsequently by Vaclav H. Matousek.

AMERISKA DOMOVINA (American Home), traces its lineage back to the origins of the city's SLOVENE press. It was preceded by Narodna Beseda, a semimonthly established 11 Feb. 1899 and later renamed Nova Domovina. Although that venture went out of business on 25 Apr.

ANDREWS, SAMUEL (10 Feb. 1836-15 Apr. 1904), was a poor English immigrant who became a pioneer in the oil industry and cofounder of the STANDARD OIL CO. Born in Oaksey, England, a candlemaker by trade with little formal education, Andrews arrived in Cleveland in 1857.

ANDRICA, THEODORE (9 Aug. 1900-1 Mar. 1990) chronicled the affairs of Cleveland's diverse ethnic population for 46 years as Nationalities Editor of the CLEVELAND PRESS. Born in Radna, Romania, he emigrated to the United States in 1920.

ANISFIELD, JOHN (5 March 1860-22 April 1929) was a successful clothing manufacturer, real estate executive, and civic leader who devoted his wealth to a variety of philanthropic projects in Cleveland. Born in the capital of the Austrian Empire, Vienna, to Israel and Amelia (Geldwerth) Anisfield, John acquired his primary and technical education in the city's schools.

ANSHE CHESED (Fairmount Temple), established as a German Orthodox congregation in 1841 and chartered on 28 Feb. 1842, is the oldest existing Jewish congregation in Cleveland. Its Hebrew name means "people of loving kindness." The temple was formed after 30 members of the Israelitic Society of Cleveland, the city''s first congregation, seceded in a dispute over religious ritual.

ARAB AMERICANS. Cleveland's Arab population, although among the smaller ethnic groups, has a clear identity and historical development since Arabs began arriving here in the 19th century. In 1995 there were approx. 35,000 Americans of Arab descent in Greater Cleveland. The term Arab requires clarification. As with most peoples, language is the defining factor; an Arab-American is one whose ancestral tongue is Arabic.

The ARAB SOCIAL CLUB, formed in the late 1970s, is described as "a local center for pro-Palestinian Arab-Americans." It served as a social political center on Palestinian affairs, providing members access to Palestinian newspapers and magazines and video cassettes of speeches. Occasionally the club expressed its political views publicly, as in a telegram to Pres.

ARMENIANS. Armenian immigration to Cleveland began in 1906 or 1907 when employees of the AMERICAN STEEL & WIRE CO. factory in Worcester, MA, came to Cleveland to work in a newly opened branch of that firm.

The Asian Indian community in Northeast Ohio: some significant highlights

ASIAN SERVICES IN ACTION was founded in 1995 to address the needs of a small but growing Asian American community in Akron. The non-profit agency expanded in response to a refugee stream and soon developed into the largest human services agency in the Asian American/Pacific Islander community (AAIP) of Ohio.


BARDOUN, FRANK J. (3 Oct. 1905-3 Dec. 1988) was prominently involved in the affairs of Cleveland's CZECHS for more than half a century. A native Clevelander, the son of Louis and Mary Plantner Bardoun, he was a graduate of EAST TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL.

BATTISTA, JOSEPH "Pipp" (4 Nov. 1908-16 May 1993) was a community leader in the LITTLE ITALY neighborhood and a member of the Mayfield-Murray Hill District Council. Battista owned and operated Pipp's Hardware (Murray Hill & Edgehill) for 35 years and was a trustee and president of ALTA HOUSE.

BELARUSIANS. Belarusians (White Russians), from Eastern Europe, have settled in Cleveland at least since the last decade of the 19th century. Since U.S.