Cleveland Jewish Archives

Cleveland Jewish Archives

JewishAmericanHistoryhaivritThe Cleveland Jewish Archives serves as the community’s local Jewish history resource, working with other organizations to promote the teaching and learning of Jewish history. The primary activity of the Cleveland Jewish Archives is to collect print and non-print material that documents the history of the Jewish community of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. This material is then made available to the public for educational purposes.
Established in 1976 in cooperation with the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, the Jewish Archives has a long record of encouraging the study of local Jewish history.

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Current Happenings – 

January 2018- WRHS at Jewish Education Conference in Eastern Europe

Sean Martin, PhD, Western Reserve Historical Society Associate Curator for Jewish History, recently presented at a conference on Jewish Education in Eastern Europe.  This conference was organized by the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies and the Institute of Jewish Studies, University College London. The conference, held at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, marked the publication of Volume 30 of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, to which Martin contributed an article on the teaching of Jewish religion in Poland’s public schools in the 1920s and 1930s. The article examines how Jewish students learned about Judaism in the public schools and the implications of the presence of religion in secular schools sponsored by the state. Dr. Martin presented “Between Church and State: Religious Instruction in Polish Public Schools” to an audience of scholars from England, Poland, Canada, and the United Statex. In addition to the panel on which Martin participated, the conference included sessions on Jewish education in times of political transformation and a screening of a film about the life of Polish Jewish educator Janusz Korczak.

Several publications sponsored by WRHS and the Jewish Federation highlight the holdings of the Cleveland Jewish Archives:

  • The History of the Jews of Cleveland, by Lloyd P. Gartner (1978).
  • Merging Traditions: Jewish Life in Cleveland, by Sidney Z. Vincent and Judah Rubinstein (1978). Revised edition by Judah Rubinstein, with Jane A. Avner published by Kent State University Press, 2004.
  • Guide to Jewish History Sources in the History Library of the Western Reserve Historical Society (1983; and supplement, 2000).
  • What I Remember: Clevelanders Recall the Shtetl, compiled and edited by Goldie Lake (1985).
  • The Camp Wise Story, 1907-1988, by Albert M. Brown (1989).
  • From Generation to Generation: History through Images, (1989). Materials examining Jewish continuity in Cleveland, Ohio, prepared for teachers and students in cooperation with the Cleveland Bureau of Jewish Education.
  • Remembering: Cleveland’s Jewish Voices,edited by Sally H. Wertheim and Alan D. Bennett (2011).
  • Visit the WRHS Library/Archives & Genalogy Center to use these publications in person or purchase them from the WRHS Museum Store.

The Cleveland Jewish Archives collects print and non-print material (including, but not limited to, correspondence, diaries, photographs, posters, recordings, and objects) that help WRHS tell the story of the Jewish community in Northeast Ohio. To schedule an appointment to discuss materials that might be appropriate for WRHS, please call Sean Martin, 216-721-5722, x1514, or e-mail

Jewish History Resources


For more information or to donate to the Cleveland Jewish Archives collections:

Sean Martin
Associate Curator for Jewish History
Western Reserve Historical Society
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1777
(216) 721-5722 x1514