The Jews of Cleveland Seminar

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The Jews of Cleveland
History & Community Highlighted in 2-Day Public Seminar March 22-23, 2015

CLEVELAND, OH – Western Reserve Historical Society, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and Siegal Lifelong Learning at Case Western Reserve University, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, and Cleveland Jewish News Foundation are sponsoring a two-day The Jews of Cleveland seminar on Sunday & Monday, March 22 & 23, 2015.

Established in 1976 in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the WRHS Cleveland Jewish Archives serves as the community’s Jewish history resource. The two organizations are currently collaborating on a volume of scholarly essays tentatively titled, The Jews of Cleveland. “We’re very excited about featuring the works of both prominent and promising scholars from throughout the United States and Israel,” says Sean Martin, WRHS Associate Curator for Jewish History and co-editor. “These essays will address specific aspects of local Jewish history from the community’s beginnings to the present and help us spotlight some of the most relevant and important lessons we can learn from the region’s Jewish immigrants. Topics to be addressed include local Jews and the Civil War and mid twentieth century suburbanization.”

The nearly 40-year collaboration between WRHS and the Federation includes numerous distinguished publication projects including Lloyd Gartner’s History of the Jews of Cleveland (1978); Merging Traditions: Jewish Life in Cleveland, a photographic essay edited by Judah Rubinstein and Sidney Z. Vincent (1976, 2004); and Remembering: Cleveland’s Jewish Voices (2011), a volume of primary sources from the archive edited by Sally H. Wertheim and Alan D. Bennett.

The Jews of Cleveland Seminar sessions on Monday take place mainly at Case Western Reserve University. Hasia Diner of the New York University Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies presents “Local Jews, Global Stories: Cleveland Jewry and Modern Jewish History” offsite at the Maltz Museum on Sunday, March 22 at 2pm (registration required). Sunday sessions are concentrated at WRHS’s History Center location in University Circle. The final program Monday, March 23, at 1pm features Clevelander Bob Gries, author of Five Generations: 175 Years of Love for Cleveland, in conversation with John Grabowski, WRHS Historian/Senior Vice President for Research and Publications and The Jews of Cleveland co-editor.

All seminar events are free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. Each session is a moderated panel, featuring academic presentations by the authors and questions and comments. To register for the talk by Hasia Diner at the Maltz Museum, visit http://www.maltzmuseum.org/program-calendar/ or call 216-593-0575. The event is free, but seating is limited. To register for the sessions at WRHS and CWRU, visit http://www.wrhs.org/upcoming-events/2015-03/ or contact Sean Martin, 216-721-5722, x1514, smartin@wrhs.org.

SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015
Location: Baker-Nord, Case Western Reserve University, Clark Hall, Room 207, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH
9:00-10:30 First Session (Moderator: Sean Martin, Western Reserve Historical Society)

  • “The Rosewaters and the Colmans: Jewish Identity in Two Cleveland Jewish Families, 1850-1915”, Kathryn Hellerstein, University of Pennsylvania
  • “Cleveland Jews and the Civil War”, Peter Haas, Case Western Reserve University

11:00-12:30 Second Session (Moderator: Hasia Diner, New York University)

  • “Orthodox Judaism in Cleveland”, Ira Robinson, Concordia University
  • “Abraham Hayyim Friedland and the Structures of Jewish Education”, Sylvia Abrams and Lifsa Schachter, Siegal College of Judaic Studies
  • “Jewish Education in Cleveland”, Sally Wertheim, John Carroll University

Location: Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, OH
2:00-4:00  “Local Jews, Global Stories: Cleveland Jewry and Modern Jewish History”

  • Presented by Hasia R. Diner, New York University

MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2015
Location: Western Reserve Historical Society, 10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH
9:00-10:30 Third Session (Moderator: John Grabowski, Case Western Reserve University and Western Reserve Historical Society)

  • “Superman vs. Everyman: Jews, Comics, and Cleveland”, Samantha Baskind, Cleveland State University
  • “Trepidation and Tolerance amid Turnover: Demographic Change and Jewish Interracial Neighborhood Activism in Cleveland, 1938-1967”, Todd Michney, University of Toledo
  • “Jewish Suburbanization and Jewish Presence in the ‘City without Jews’”, Mark Souther, Cleveland State University

10:45-12:15 Fourth Session (Moderator: Jay Geller, Case Western Reserve University)

  • “Jewish Philanthropy in Cleveland”, David Hammack, Case Western Reserve University
  • “Cleveland Jewish Women’s Organized Activism in the Twentieth Century”, Mary McCune, State University of New York at Oswego
  • “Towards a Theory of Religion and Assimilation: Suburban Temple’s Founding in Cleveland, Ohio”, Rachel Gordan, University of Toronto

1:00-2:30 Concluding Session

  • A Conversation with Bob Gries, author of Five Generations: 175 Years of Love for Cleveland, with John Grabowski      

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The Jewish Federation of Cleveland is a 110+ year old community cornerstone that aspires to leave no community member behind. Rooted in traditional Jewish values of justice (tzedek), repairing the world (tikkun olam), acts of loving kindness (gemilut hesed), and Jewish peoplehood (klal yisrael), we commit our values into action every day. By honoring and respecting those who have come before us, and paving the way for those who will come after, we exist to build a better world and care for those who share it. We are the only Jewish organization that considers the needs of our community as a whole and plans for its future.

ABOUT THE WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY Founded in 1867, Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is Northeast Ohio’s premier storyteller based on its vast collection of the tangible history of Northeast Ohio including automobiles, airplanes, archives, books, carousel horses, ceramics, decorative arts, diaries, furniture, gardens, garments, genealogical resources, historic buildings, letters, maps, paintings, photographs, shoes, toys, uniforms, and weapons. WRHS Is also one of the oldest and largest nonprofit regional historical societies in the nation. WRHS presents the lives and activities of 19th-Century settlers at the historic Hale Farm & Village in Bath, Ohio, and it presents the glitter and industry of the Gilded Age through the history of Cleveland’s millionaires and entrepreneurs. WRHS offers a wealth of resources to research your family heritage at the History Center in University Circle, Cleveland.

HOURS & ADMISSION The WRHS History Center in University Circle, 10825 East Boulevard is open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Sunday, Noon - 5:00 pm. The Research Library is open Thursday – Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $10/adult, $9/Ages 62+, and $5/child 3-12. WRHS members, active Military with ID, and children two and under are free of charge. Group rates are available. Parking lot fees are paid at the admission desk during museum hours. The parking lot is located off Magnolia Drive.

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