LilaTovCocktail: Ingredients: one part NE Ohio; two parts politics; two parts media, and one part each: culture, family & the Jewish community. Directions: Shake well.

Federation relocation: "The past has a vote, not a veto"


Another perspective on the possible relocation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland:

Cleveland Jewish History webkeeper Arnie Berger takes a look at where, historically, the Federation has been located vis-a-vis the city's Jewish population.
Read the Cleveland Jewish History pages about the Federation in their entirety here.)

Since Federation was founded it has made nine decisions about its location. We describe its choices on these pages, noting where the Jewish community and its major institutions were located at the time.
It's worth remembering that even in 1965, when Federation moved into its present location on Euclid Ave., most Jews no longer lived the city proper, and few if any Jewish children were in the Cleveland School System. Their website History page says of their decision to be located in downtown Cleveland:
... In 1965, when the Federation erected its own building, the organization's leaders chose a site downtown at 18th and Euclid to symbolize the Jewish Community Federation's commitment to the greater community.

Cleveland Mayor Ralph Locher told the Cleveland Jewish News that the new Federation building represented "more than bricks and mortar - it is a symbol of humanity and philanthropy in a city that cares."

Since that time, Berger says, Federation's staff has grown 160 percent — from 50 to more than 130.
The organization is now considering relocating. An active discussion is underway, asking if the new home should be in downtown Cleveland, or in a suburban location close to the center of the Jewish population."

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan wrote 70 years ago "The past has a vote, not a veto." We believe that if these history pages tell of the past, specifically the history of where Federation has done its work over the years and how the current facility came to be, they may help inform the discussion.

If you're interested in hearing about the group advocating that Federation remain downtown, visit their website:

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