A Modern-Day Exodus

Ohio Historical Marker 143-18

Sponsored by: Beth Israel-The West Temple, Western Reserve Historical Society, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and the Ohio History Connection

Beth Israel – The West Temple

Side A: Here in 1963 congregants of Beth Israel-The West Temple, led by Louis Rosenblum, Herb Caron, and Rabbi Daniel Litt, founded the Cleveland Committee (later Council) on Soviet Anti-Semitism, the first American organization created to advocate for freedom for Soviet Jews. In 1970 this work led to the formation of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ) under the leadership of Louis Rosenblum. The UCSJ, whose national office was located here 1970-1973, became the largest independent Soviet Jewry organization in the world. By the turn of the 21st century, the efforts begun here helped 1.6 million Jews leave the former Soviet Union. (Continued on other side)



Side B: (Continued from other side) In the years between 1975 and 2003, an estimated ten thousand Soviet Jews were resettled in Cleveland. The Jewish Federation of Cleveland (JFC), the Jewish Family Service Association (JFSA) and other social agencies, schools, congregations and thousands of volunteers helped these new Americans acclimate to American and Jewish life. These agencies and volunteers provided help finding housing and employment and education in Jewish traditions. They and their children now live in freedom, enriching our region.