Timeline of Federation History
Cleveland is one of the best Jewish communities in the world, and Federation has been a part of that history since 1903. Explore our timeline below!
To navigate, use either the arrows at the side of the page, drag through the timeline photos, or click one of the boxes below the timeline.
Formation of the Federation of Jewish Charities and election of Charles Eisenman as first president.
Estate of Mrs. H. Black makes first bequest, $2,500 for the Educational Fund
Contributions total $41,350 from 1,219 "subscribers"
Emergency campaign for relief of pogrom victims in Russia
First professional, Samuel Goldhamer, hired at $20 a week
Camp Wise becomes first new beneficiary agency in addition to original eight
New Mt. Sinai Hospital opens on East 105th Street
Prolonged Board debate on the alleged division between "uptown" and "downtown" Jewish communities with plea for bridging the gap for sake of unity
Special Survey Committee studies complete structure and function of Federation
First given in 1924, The Charles Eisenman Award is the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s highest civic honor, recognizing individuals or organizations for exceptional civic contributions.
Federation becomes "Jewish Welfare Federation."
Federation sponsors Yiddish course for all social workers to help integrate newcomers.
Bellefaire opens new campus on Fairmount Boulevard
Federation creates Jewish Welfare Fund Appeal as a comprehensive campaign for local and overseas needs, "inasmuch as it appears rather certain that the needs of the allied Jewish campaign will continue for several years"
Federation creates Jewish Community Council, with Max Simon as first president, to counter anti-Semitism and provide broad base for participation in community activities.
Welfare Fund opening rally hears addresses by Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Barnett R. Brickner, followed by broadcast by Chaim Weizmann from Jerusalem, in view of growing crisis overseas
Annual meeting takes the form of defense rally as contribution to the war effort.
Annual campaign exceeds $1 million for first time
Federation establishes Community Relations Committee under chairmanship of Irving Kane, later to become chair of both the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council and the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds
Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver presents case for an independent Israel at the United Nations in dramatic, historic session.
Consolidation of Council Educational Alliance, Camp Wise, Jewish Young Adult Bureau and Cultural Department of the Jewish Community Council to form the Jewish Community Center
Federation allocation to The Hebrew Academy of Cleveland makes it the first federation in the country to fund a day school
Henry L. Zucker becomes executive director upon Samuel Goldhamer's retirement after more than 40 years
Jewish Community Council and Jewish Welfare Federation merge to form the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland
Federation pioneers establishment of detailed course in leadership training, setting pattern for similar activities throughout the country; by 2003, Federation's Mandel courses will have trained thousands of leaders
Federation creates permanent Endowment Fund Committee, becoming first federation in country to develop a comprehensive, organized approach to building an endowment
Federation conducts tutoring project in Glenville; later recognized with William J. Shroder Award by Council of Jewish Federations
Facilities Planning Committee begins to help agencies with plans for new buildings
Study of need for news publication results in creation of the Cleveland Jewish News as an independent paper
Federation moves to Euclid Avenue, possessing its own home for the first time
Annual campaign nearly doubles in extraordinary response to the Six Day War, reaching a record $11.5 million
First donor-designated trust established at Federation; precursor to philanthropic (named) funds that enable donors to make charitable grant recommendations to meet community needs
Interfaith study mission to Israel
Federation participates in reorganization of Cleveland Welfare Federation and United Appeal into the Federation for Community Planning and the United Torch Services
Harold H. and Jean Lee Kahn Charitable Foundation becomes first incorporated supporting foundation of the Federation
Yom Kippur War; highest campaign achievement in Federation history is one phase of tremendous community response
Federation receives William J. Shroder Award from Council of Jewish Federations for Heights Area
Stanley B. Horowitz becomes executive director after Henry L. Zucker and Sidney Z. Vincent retire
Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk joins protest for Soviet Jewry
Federation begins partnership with Tel Aviv neighborhood of Neve Sharett in Project Renewal program, linking Jews in Cleveland to Jews in Israel
Stephen H. Hoffman becomes executive director after Stanley B. Horowitz leaves to head United Jewish Appeal
Federation/Congregational Plenum Commission on Jewish Continuity begins to undertake comprehensive planning effort on Jewish education; will merge with Bureau of Jewish Education in 1993 to form Jewish Education Center of Cleveland
Clevelanders contribute $1.5 million to Operation Moses to rescue Ethiopian Jews; another $1 million raised in Operation Solomon in 1991
Federation mobilizes 1,700 community members to travel to Washington, D.C., for march in support of Soviet Jews
Residents of the Jewish community’s first group home for developmentally disabled adults established
Cleveland is one of the few communities to send missions to Israel during the intifada
First large mission from Cleveland to the Soviet Union to meet with refuseniks
Families from former Soviet Union begin arriving in Cleveland; more than 6,000 are resettled by Jewish Family Service Association during the 1990s
Federation welcomes 1,000th philanthropic fund
Cleveland raises $15.2 million for Operation Exodus to resettle Jews from the former Soviet Union; another $7 million raised in 1993
3,000 hear Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel address annual meeting at Front Row Theater
Community-wide Kashruth program established
Commission on Cemetery Preservation makes improvements in neglected cemeteries
The Bureau of Jewish Education and the COJC merge to create the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland (JECC)
Mega missions to Israel through the 2000s
Federation selects Beit She'an, Israel, for Partnership 2000 program to forge new definition of Israel-Diaspora relations
Federation establishes Community Options program enabling senior adults to age in place with access to services and programs; becomes nationwide model and helps secure release of millions of dollars in federal funding for similar programs
Population study counts 81,500 Jews in 33,710 households in Greater Cleveland
Ohio-Israel Cultural Exchange program created with governor’s office
Federation creates the Silver Circle Society to honor all annual campaign donors who contribute for 25 consecutive years or more
After series of church arsons in South Carolina, Community Relations Committee sends a mission to assist in reconstruction of a Baptist church
Overseas Connections Committee created to identify programs to engage Cleveland Jews with Jews around the world
New B'Yachad/Together Committee responds to tensions over proposed Orthodox campus in Beachwood; committee brings thousands together in following years for speakers and parlor meetings to strengthen the fabric of community life
Jewish Volunteers in Action (predecessor to Jewish Volunteer Network) created
Legacy Society established to secure more resources to meet future community needs
Parents and Children Together (PACT) program begins in Be'er Sheva, Israel, to aid absorption of Jewish Ethiopian preschoolers
Cleveland Orchestra concert at Blossom Music Center draws 10,000 and highlights Federation organized "Israel at 50" community celebration of Israel's Anniversary
Federation begins strategic partnership with Jewish community of St. Petersburg, Russia, to help it become an organized, vibrant, and self-sufficient Diaspora Jewish community
Annual Maurice Saltzman Youth Grant Program begins, teaching 40 high school students about grantmaking and federated giving by providing them $50,000 to allocate to community organizations
Cleveland plays a major role in the restructuring of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)
Cleveland leads the creation of United Jewish Communities
Public Education Initiative (PEI) begins a partnership with the Cleveland Municipal School District
Federation works with Catholic Migration and Refugee Services, the Inter national Services Center and the Albanian community to resettle refugees in Cleveland from the Kosovo crisis; Endowment Fund approves $25,000 emergency grant for humanitarian assistance to refugees in Albania and Macedonia
New American Initiative begins training immigrants from former Soviet Union for leadership positions in Jewish organizations
Formation of the Beit Shean Valley Community Foundation
Federation launches Israel Solidarity Action Plan
Cleveland sends largest single community solidarity mission of the year — 200 people — to Israel in its time of crisis; repeats record-setting mission in 2002
Federation incorporates its 50th supporting foundation
Israel's health minister comes to Cleveland to kick off the ISHA program, a $3 million initiative to improve women's health in Israel with Cleveland volunteer participation
Jewish Welfare Fund Appeal renamed the Campaign for Jewish Needs
Israel emergency campaigns raise $8,904,560 in two years, which includes $1 million Endowment Fund grant
Federation celebrates Centennial anniversary
Groundbreakings for Milton and Tamar Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Wiggins Place independent living facility and Jewish Community Services building in Solon kick off initial projects of the multi-year Centennial capital and endowment campaign to strengthen and grow Jewish Cleveland
Federation celebrates 100 years of community services and programs
Cleveland hosts the United Jewish Communities General Assembly (GA), drawing more than 3,000 Jewish philanthropists, civic leaders and professionals from around the world.
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra opens its U.S. Tour in Cleveland in recognition of the Federation's Centennial
Cleveland sends a delegation of 54 young adults on a national Tel Aviv One mission to Israel, in an effort to strengthen the connection of the next generation to the Jewish community.
Holocaust Survivor Initiative raises funds to support needs of local survivors
Israel Emergency Campaign is launched
Federation Strategic Plan focuses on three major goals: broadening participation in Jewish life in Cleveland; strengthening connections between our people and Israel; and implementing a comprehensive development plan
Employment Related Support Programs launched due to recession
A $16 million grant from Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel to the Jewish Community Federation, the single largest grant to any Jewish institution in northeast Ohio's history, enables the Federation to purchase and renovate a building in Beachwood to serve as the Federation's new headquarters.
United Jewish Communities becomes the Jewish Federations of North America, and as part of the national branding effort, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland becomes the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
Global Cleveland partnership is created to attract newcomers
Young leaders compile Federation annual report
Launch of I-Connect to connect young Clevelanders to Israel travel experiences
Federation conducts Population Study and Day School Study
Federation launches Bridge to The Future, an Israeli community revitalization organization in Beit Shean to transform disadvantaged communities
Federation hosts the 1st Annual Law Enforcement Executive Summit
Steve Hoffman spearheads the Secure Community Network (SCAN), the first national non-profit dedicated to protecting the American Jewish community through homeland security initiatives
jHUB created to connect interfaith families with the Jewish community
Nakum task force established to focus on Alzheimer’s Disease and its impact on Jewish families
IMPACT! program connects “Baby Boomers” to volunteer opportunities
Chesed Center food pantry opens in Cleveland Heights
Federation becomes nation’s first faith-based organization to hold a Department of Homeland Security simulation exercise
icnext (Israel.Cleveland.Next) is established to engage the next generation of Jewish Clevelanders and Israelis
Federation Strategic Plan approved goals reflect changing behaviors in how people see and interact with community and express being Jewish
Erika B. Rudin-Luria succeeds Stephen H. Hoffman as president of Jewish Federation of Cleveland
More than 200 members of the Cleveland Jewish community participate in the “No Hate. No Fear. Solidarity March Against Anti-Semitism” in New York City
Federation leads community-wide education and engagement effort to keep Jewish Clevelanders connected and informed during COVID-19 pandemic
Jewish Cleveland raises nearly $16 million in its Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund to off-set revenue loss, expense increases experience by beneficiary agencies during COVID-19 pandemic