The year 5783 was the two hundredth year of Jewish life in Cincinnati. The American Isra- elite would like to showcase the events that made this year a special one for the Cincinnati Jewish Community.


Danielle Minson speaks at a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 2021 at the refurbished Chestnut Street Cemetery.

September 25, 2021 

ISH: Matisyahu Concert & Night Market

Acclaimed R&B singer Matisyahu performed Saturday night, September 25th, for the opening of the ish Festival  at Washington Park. Playing in front of over six hundred concert goers taking up almost the entire civic green, or open lawn area of the park, Matisyahu headlined the night of concerts that marked the beginning of the biennial festival.


September 26, 2021 - 


JCGC: Chestnut Street Cemetery Rededication — Kick-Off Ceremony! 

The Bicentennial celebration kick off continued with the rededication of the Chestnut Street Cemetery, the oldest Jewish cemetery west of the Allegheny Mountains. The cemetery, located at Chestnut Street and Central Avenue in Cincinnati’s West End, was established in 1821 and served as a burials site for the first Jewish residents of Cincinnati. The cemetery predates the construction of a synagogue in the city. 



Skirball Museum: Jewish Cincinnati Historic Tours & Miles Wolf Commission 

Abby Schwartz, Director of the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and J. Miles Wolf, a local photographer, led a two-hour walking tour of the Jewish West End and Central City at shortly after noon and a shorter version of the West End alone later in the afternoon. An exhibit of Wolf’s photographs of Jewish Cincinnati was on display on Sunday at the Memorial Hall, drawing partly from Wolf’s exhibit at the Skirball in 2018 but also presenting new work.


September 30, 2021


CSO: Creative Conversation | Jewish Culture & Inspiration

CSO partner Matthias Pinscher and installation artist for the Music for Autosonic Gongs discussed their personal satires and the influence of Judaism on their inspiration. 


October 1-3, 2021


CSO: Music for Autosonic Gongs 

The installation “Music for Autosonic Gongs” by Jay Schwartz was open to the public in the foyer of Music Hall on Friday afternoon and on Saturday and Sunday evening; Matthias Pintscher conducted two concerts, “Contemporary Colors” at Music Hall on Friday evening and “Chamber Music at Plum Street Temple” on Sunday. 


October 1, 2021


CSO: Contemporary Colors | The Sound & The Ecstasy 

Matthias Pinscher collaborated with the CSO to perform new music. 


October 3, 2021


CSO: Chamber Music and Plum Street Temple 

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra gathered together performed chamber music at the Plum Street Temple. 


October 9, 2021


Cincinnati Parks: Ezz Fest 

On Saturday October 9, the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial partnered with Cincinnati Parks and other community organizations to hold the fourth annual Ezz Fest at Laurel Park in the West End. The Bicentennial continued its focus on this historic area by becoming a major partner in not only the festival, but also the revitalization of Laurel Park, and the dedication of a new statue of Ezzard Charles. 

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On Saturday October 9, the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial partnered with Cincinnati Parks and other community organizations to hold the fourth annual Ezz Fest at Laurel Park in the West End



October 17, 2021


HHC: Upstander Museum Tour 

A special guided tour of the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center.


November 4, 2021 - January 30, 2022


Skirball Museum Exhibition | A Portrait of Jewish Cincinnati 

A Portrait of Jewish Cincinnati brings together the likenesses of many of Cincinnati’s prominent Jewish citizens from the early nineteenth century to the present day, gleaned from the museum’s own collections as well as those of local and national museums and private collections. Portraits include oil paintings, sculptures, drawings, and mixed media representations of figures who have made a significant impact on Jewish Cincinnati and the larger secular community.


November 5 - November 7, 2021


Mariemont Players Inc. presents: “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” 

The Mariemont Players presented “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” a story about a southern Jewish family in 1939. The play was directed by Aaron Whitehead. 


November 9, 2021


HHC: Tree of Life Cantata Debut 

The Concert Nova Chamber Ensemble performed Jacob Lindy’s Tree of Life Cantata as a tribute to the survivors of the October 27, 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting. The concerns included a piece by Pavel Haas, a composer murdered during the Holocaust. 


December 1, 2021


HHC: An Evening with Rachael Cerrotti 

The Holocaust and Humanity Center hosted Rachael Cerrotti, a photographer and writer, who shared her grandmother’s Holocaust survival story. 


December 3, 2021 


Adath Israel: Neshama Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat 

Adath Israel hosted Neshama Carlebach, a singer/songwriter, for a special Kabbalat Shabbat service. 


December 4, 2021


Portraits in Faith | Book Launch 

Cincinnati celebrated the launch of the most extensive oral history project about faith, compiled into a book by Daniel Epstein. The multimedia project received national accolades. 


December 5, 2021 


JCC: Hanukkah at Fountain Square 

JCC hosted a celebration for the end of Hanukkah in Fountain Square with ice skating, bumper cares, and a menorah lighting. 



December 19, 2021


HHC: Upstander Family Tour 

The Holocaust and Humanity center invited families to a guided tour to learn about what it means to be an upstander.



January 13, 2022


Leaders in Light Conversation Series: Jay Van Bavel 

JCRC hosted Jay Van Bavel,  Associate Professor of Psychology at NYU, for a discussion on the state of democracy and the problem of extremism in the United States.  


January 20, 2022


Bicentennial Bling: Jewelry and Fashion in a Portrait of Jewish Cincinnati 

Cynthia Amnéus, Chief Curator and Curator of Fashion Arts and Textiles at the Cincinnati Art Museum, explored the fashion and jewelry that appeared in the portraits in the Skirball exhibition. The exhibition includes likenesses of Jewish Cincinnatians from the early nineteenth century to the present day.


UC: “American Israelites” Lecture by Karla Goldman

The Department fo Judaic Studies at UC hosted Dr. Karla Goldman, who discussed the history of Jewish Cincinnati and its relationship to the history of the city as a whole. Throughout this historical review she discussed the contributions of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, who arrived in 1854 to become the rabbi of K. K. Bene Yeshurun. He was consciously creating an American form of Judaism and actively engaging with the non-Jewish civic majority, as Goldman illustrated with quotations from his sermons and publications.


January 21, 2022


UC: “Cincinnati Synagogues: Claiming Space in the Expanding City”

Hosted virtually by the UC Department of Judaic Studies, featured mini lectures that defined the periods and size of Cincinnati by means of the transportation available: the walking city (earlier nineteenth century), presented by Dr. Ann Delano Steinert, the streetcar city (end of the nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth), presented by Dr. Karla Goldman), and the automobile city (second half of the twentieth century and beyond), presented by Alayna Gould.


January 22, 2022

UC: “Avondale History Lecture Series: Jewish Avondale”

The final lecture in the UC Department of Judaic Studies series on Jewish Cincinnati, “Jewish Avondale”  focus on the history of Avondale and its role in the Cincinnati Jewish community. This lecture was presented by Dr. Karla Goldman.  


January 29 - March 5, 2022


JCC: Jewish & Israeli Film Festival 

The film festival, a Cincinnati fixture for thirty five years, always brings award-winning lineup of films from across the globe to this community. 


January 30, 2022


JCGC: Finding Your Roots | Get Started on Researching Your Family History 

JCGC hosted a program aimed at helping Cincinnatians navigate resources and possible challenges of Jewish genealogical research. A presentation was provided by Rick Cauthen and Paul Cauthen from the Hamilton County Genealogical Society.


February 10, 2022


Leaders in Light Conversation Series: Yavilah McCoy 

JCRC hosted Yavilha McCoy, founder of DIMENSIONS, INC, a nonprofit that provides training in diversity, equity, and inclusion. McCoy discussed antisemitism, racism, and their part in white nationalism. 


February 21, 2022


CSO: Ensemble intercontemporain presents Die Stadt Ohne Juden

The Mayerson JCC partnered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for a showing of “Die stadt ohne Juden” (The City Without Jews) accompanied by live music. The film was created in 1924 by Hans Karl Breslauer.


February 27, 2022


JCGC: The Hidden Story of Cincinnati’s Kivrei Tzadikim 

Rabbi Glatstein of Golf Manor Synagogue led a tour to the graves of local tzadikim.


March 10, 2022


Leaders in Light Conversation Series: Peter T. Coleman

JCRC hosted Dr. Peter Coleman, author of “The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Plarization,” to discuss steps to take toward healing divided societies. 


March 20, 2022


JCGC: Traditions that Comfort | Jewish Customs of Mourning

JCGC hosted a panel discussion on Jewish customs of burial and mourning. Participants included Rabbi Ben Chaidell, Associate Rabbi of Adath Israel; Rabbi Mendy Kalmanson, Chevra Kadish and Chaplain with Cincinnati PD; Yair Richler, co-owner of Café Alma; Rabbi Elena Stein, Chaplain with Mercy Health: The Jewish Hospital.


April 3, 2022


Cincinnati Hillel: Campus Superstar 

Cincinnati Hillel presented Campus Superstar, a singing competition to showcase the Ohio region’s young talent. 


April 9 - May 15, 2022


Playhouse in the Park: Becoming Dr. Ruth 

JFC and Playhouse in the park cosponsored this story of the life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. 


April 10, 2022


CSO: Itzhak Perlman in Recital

Itzhak Perlman performer a solo violin recital at Cincinnati Music Hall. 


April 12, 2022


An Evening with Fran Lebowitz 

Fran Lebowitz appeared at the Aronoff Center for a conversation, audience Q&A and book signing. 


CSO: Yefim Bronfman in Recital 

Yefim Bronfman performed a solo piano recital at Cincinnati Music Hall. 


April 13, 2022


Cincinnati Opera: Cabaret of Hope 

Cabaret of Hope recreated the vibrant cabaret life of Warsaw 1941 and featured music and poetry. 


April 26, 2022


JCC & Cincinnati Ballet: Gaga Masterclass

The artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, Had Naharin, taught a masterclass in Gaga, a style of modern dance he created. 


April 29 - October 2, 2022


Museum Center: Our Shared Story | 200 Years of Jewish Cincinnati

Two hundred years of Jewish life in Cincinnati were showcased early in an exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center. 


May 1, 2022


JCC: Yom HaShoah Commemoration 2022

The JCC partnered with the Holocaust and Humanity Center to commemorate and mourn the six million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust as well as to honor survivors. Dr. Michael Meyer of HUC-JIR and Kevin Aldridge of the Cincinnati Enquirer were among the featured speakers. 


May 12 to May 22, 2022


Cincinnati Ballet: Bold Moves Festival 

The Cincinnati Ballet presented six rotating productions, as well as interactive events, to celebrate modern music and dance. 


May 12, 2022


Jewish Community Night at the Cincinnati Ballet

Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16” was performed as the opening night event for the Cincinnati Ballet’s Bold Moves Festival. 


May 15, 2022


JCGC: Shared Grief, Different Customs 

JCGC sponsored an interfaith program about the funeral and burial customs across different cultures. Shakila Ahmand of the ICGC and Sandy Kaltman of the JCGC served as moderators for the event. 


May 19, 2022

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Dean Jonathan Hecht, Dr. Gary Zola, Rabbi Sally Priesand, Dr. Andrea Weiss, Rabbi Samantha Schapera, and Dr. Andrew Rehfeld pose at the opening of “Sally Paves the Way” on May 19, 2022.


Holy Sparks & Sally Priesand Paves the Way Joint Opening

HUC-JIR celebrated the opening of two exhibits on the Cincinnati campus. The first, “Holy Sparks: Celebrating Fifty Years of Women in the Rabbinate,” showcased twenty four women who were “firsts” in their time. The exhibit, housed at the Skirball Museum, ran until September 4, 2022. The second exhibit, “Sally Priesand Paves the Way,” highlights the journey of Sally Priesand, the first woman rabbi to be ordained at a seminary. The exhibit was housed at the American Jewish Archives on the HUC campus and will run until December 28, 2022. 


May 22, 2022


JCGC: Jewish Cincinnati Cemetery Tours

JCGC hosted experts for guided tours of Cincinnati’s historic Jewish cemeteries. 


June 10 - September 4, 2022


Cincinnati Art Museum: Henry Mosler Behind the Scenes 

The Cincinnati Art Museum pretend an exhibit exploring the life and work of Henry Mosler, a Jewish painter from nineteenth century Cincinnati. 

June 10, 2022 


Rainbow Shabbat 

Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities in Cincinnati held a Shabbat night hosted by Mia Cracker from Season Ten of Rupaul’s Drag Race. 


July 7, 2022


Pam Kravetz: Gallery Talk 

Pam Kravetz provided a talk about her show, “I Think My Uncle Gershon Was a Golem,” which ran at the Weston Art Gallery from June 17 to August 28 of this year. The multimedia installation was inspired by her childhood memories and make believe and explores her family history. 


July 17, 2022


CMC: The Joy of Being Jewish - A Panel Discussion

The Museum Center presented a panel discussion exploring the life stories of Sarah L. Weiss, Katie Goodman, Kayla Soroka, and Rabbi David Burstein as well as the way in which Judaism enriched their personal lives. 


July 21, 2022


Jewish Community Night at Broadway in Cincinnati: The Band’s Visit 

The Broadway musical “The Band’s Visit” was showcased at the Aronoff center. 


September 4, 2022


Rededication of Isaac Mayer Wise Memorial Park 

Isaac Mayer Wise Park was rededicated in an afternoon gathering on park grounds in North College Hill. The site, now a small park nestled between busy thoroughfares, businesses, and paved lots, was once a large farm of forty four acres, purchased by Rabbi Wise in 1861. 

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Jim Friedman of the JFC and Carolyn Johnston, resident of North College Hill, unveil the newly updated plaque at Isaac M. Wise Park September 4, 2022


October 15, 2022


Legacy: A Concert for Cincinnati 

The culmination of the year long celebration of the Jewish Bicentennial, the Legacy concert showcased the music of Walk the moon, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Lawrence. The event was held at the Andrew J Brady Music Center.  


October 16 - October 28, 2022 


Jewish Cincinnati: A Walk Through History 

Three tour routes highlight current and former places of worship in the West End and Downtown. The sites correspond to photographs that appear in J. Miles Wolf’s exhibit “Jewish Cincinnati - A Photographic Record.”


October 27, 2022 - January 29, 2023


Skirball Museum: Jewish Cincinnati - A Photographic Record by J. Miles Wolf

Photographer J. Miles Wolf provides images that document Jewish contributions to life in Cincinnati. The opening of the event, on October 27, 2022, featured a reception and remarks from Wolf. 


October 30, 2022


Walking Tour of Walnut Hills Cemetery

JCGC will provide a walking tour of Walnut Hills Cemetery, illuminating the history of the cemetery as well as famous inhabitants. 


November 6, 2022


Jewish Cincinnati Bus Tour 

Jewish sites in the West End, Downtown Cincinnati, Price Hill, and Avondale will be explored on this bus tour, offered by the Cincinnati Skirball Museum. The tour will be led by photographer J. Miles Wolf and Skirball director and curator Abby Schwartz. 



Upcoming Events and Continued Exhibits 


Until December 28, 2022

AJA: Sally Priesand Paves the Way


December 8, 2022

Lunch and Learn: Jewish Cincinnati: A Photographic Record by J. Miles Wolf

12:00 - 2:00 p.m. 

Skirball Museum


Until January 29, 2023

Skirball Museum -  A Photographic Record


January 18, 2021

Jewish Cincinnati: A Tapestry of Art and History with Abby Schwartz

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 

Mayerson Hall, HUC-JIR


Please confirm the dates of upcoming events with the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial website. 

Those interested in keeping the Bicentennial Celebration after its official end may still visit the site of the Bicentennial’s Kick-off, the Chestnut Street Cemetery, as well as the rededicated Isaac Mayer Wise Park. 


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