In the Beginning: 1854

Cincinnati Israelitish Institutions

By Samuel Bruel


It must be highly gratifying to those first residents, who in 1817 sowed the first seeds of Judaism that the Almighty God has spared them to witness the abundant fruit of their labor, and above all that they have aided in establishing many useful and charitable institutions which at this day are in a healthy and thriving state in this city, while those seeds have again germinated, and their shoots have grown and increased to four congregations equally as useful as the first one.

The minhag [custom] of this congregation [K. K. B. Israel = Rockdale Temple] is Polish, the majority of its members are orthodox, this house is open daily for public service, and punctually attended. The Rev. H. Judah, their present reader, was elected in 1837, the many laudable institutions in connection with this congregation give it a claim to be classed among the first of the religious communities, it is represented by a vestry of five persons assisted by twelve others, the whole forming a board of trustees.

— July 14, 1854

150 Years Ago

 We have received with the last European Steamer an assignment of 12 Sefor Thoras, varying in prices from 75 to 300 dollars. Congregations, Societies, or individuals wishing to purchase, will do well to apply early.

Bloch and Co., - Israelite Office



Phoenix gave a grand opening ball last Thursday evening, October 13th.

Allemania will open this season with a ball, on Tuesday next, October 18th.

Eureka gave an opening performance and hop on last Monday, October 10th.

Harmony.—This society give their opening ball next Monday evening, Oct. 18, at Hopkins’ Music Hall. Persons desiring to attend should apply at once to the Board of Officers.

The True Daughter’s of Israel held their second ball, at Geyer’s Assembly Rooms, on Tuesday last, October 11th.


— Oct. 14, 1870

125 Years Ago

Mr. Leo Mielziner, the Enquirer says, who has lately returned to Cincinnati after an absence of five years abroad, where he has been studying in the principal cities, has a beautiful studio in the Pike. Mr. Mielziner has some good work in his studio, which shows great talent and scrupulous study. His heads are particularly fine.

Editor’s Note:  Leo Mielziner (8 Dec. 1869 – 11 Aug. 1935) was particularly noted as a portrait artist. The Cincinnati Art Museum has a portrait by him of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise in their collection of American Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings.


Among the most fashionable functions of the season will be a series of three balls to be given at the Phoenix club. The patronesses will issue invitations to unmarried men only, and only to such as they select, and the fortunate recipients of these favors will be allowed to choose the young ladies who are to accompany them. The first of the balls will be given at an early date.


— Oct. 10, 1895

100 Years Ago

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Joseph sailed for England on the Lapland from New York City on September 25. A business trip will take them to Scotland, Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland. They will return to the United States about January, 1921.


The Reading Road Temple Sisterhood will hold its first meeting, Thursday, October 14th at 2:30 p.m. A social hour will follow.


Mrs. Caroline Weil, aged ninety years, an inmate of the Home for Jewish Aged and infirm, in Avondale, has expressed her intention to register for the coming election.

Editor’s Note: The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was passed on August 26, 1920; the election later that year would therefore have been the first in which this ninety-year-old woman would have been able to vote. She passed away in 1926.

— Oct. 7, 1920

75 Years Ago

Pfc. Norvin Emden, 24, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Emden, had a share in development of the VY radio fuse, compared with the atomic bomb and radar as World War II’s outstanding scientific achievement.


Dr. Victor E. Reichert, of Rockdale Avenue Temple, was guest minister on “Church By the Side of the Road,” on WLW Sunday, Oct. 7th. His topic was “What Are Churches For?”


Some 93 captains and members of the campaign committee met at the home of Nathan Ransohoff, City Charter nominee for Cincinnati City Council, 3509 Biddle Street, Wednesday night, Oct. 3rd, to complete organization of the campaign.


Mrs. Ann Rouda, of Van Antwerp Place, announces the engagement of her daughter, Dorothy Ferne, to Hospital Apprentice second class Allen Robert Tag, son of Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Tag, of Cleveland Avenue. No date has been set for the wedding.


The Rockdale Temple Red Cross sewing and knitting unit reopened on Wednesday, Oct. 10th, and will meet daily from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

— Oct. 11, 1945

50 Years Ago

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Frisch, 7413 Willowbrook Lane, announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Andrew Todd, Saturday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m., at Temple Sholom, Ridge and Longmeadow. 


Dr. Bernard Hertzman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hyman Hertzman, 5117 Newfield Avenue, was sworn into the 311th field Hospital unit by Lt. Col. Robert H. Poe.


Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Gillman, 772 Red Bud Avenue, announce the forthcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Max Kenneth, Saturday, Oct. 17, at 10:30 a.m., at Rockdale Temple, 8501 Ridge Road.


Mr. Morris Mazer, 3501 Section Road, wishes to thank Rabbi Albert A. Goldman, Samuel Wohl, Mayer Selekman, Bernard Greenfield and Fishel J. Goldfeder for their visits and prayers during his recent stay at Jewish Hospital.


Services were held Sunday, Oct. 4, for Dr. Moses Zalesky, widely known community leader here. Dr. Zalesky, 65, recently retired as director of the Bureau of Jewish Education. 


Mr. and Mrs. Jim Thrush (Helena Neumark) announce the birth of a son, Jack, Saturday, Sept. 12. The infant has two brothers, Tom and Jeffrey. 

— Oct. 8, 1970

25 Years Ago

Joe and Sheryl Brown (Schaen) announce the birth of a son, Jacob Michael, Sept. 23.


On Monday evening, Oct 16, the 10 musicians of the Cincinnati Klezmer Project will play traditional Jewish and Yiddish melodies and Israeli and Chassidic dance music as the Torah processionals wind through the congregation during Simchat Torah services at Congregation B’nai Tzedek.


Congregation Beth Adam will hold a 1950s-1960s Sock Hop on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 p.m. to midnight in Greenwood Hall at Jewish Hospital, 3140 Harvey Avenue. Music will be provided by “The Four Hubcaps.”


Nine Cincinntians will be part of the 1,000 delegates attending the 33rd Biennial National Convention of Women’s American ORT, scheduled for Oct. 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Chairman of the local delegation from the Cincinnati Region is Ava Fried. She will be joined by Marcy Kanter, region president, Cindy Getty, Ileen Ross, Marcie Mendelson, Rita Goldhoff, Jo Ann Singer and Lois Pornoy.


Congregation Ohav Shalom has hired the firm of Levin/Brown to serve as architects for the congregation’s new building, announced Michael Smolin, chairman of the architectural search committee. The building will be constructed on the synagogue’s recently purchased property on Cornell Road in Sycamore Township.

— Oct. 12, 1995

10 Years Ago

This past Sunday, the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education (CHHE) celebrated their 10th anniversary with a dinner entitled “A Decade of Difference: Honoring History, Celebrating the Future.” 


Adath Israel Congregation welcomes Cantor Linda Hirschhorn and Vocolot, the first Jewish women’s a cappella ensemble of which Hirschhorn is founder and primary composer. “This will be our first program sponsored by the new Michael M. Levenson Music fund,” announced Penny Pensak, president of the congregation. 


On Sunday, Oct. 10, around 200 people participated in a world event at the Mayerson JCC. Rockdale Temple Rock Shabbat Band, Foundation Band, “Shir Chadash” from Wise Temple, Northern Hills Synagogue Choir, “Shir Ami” from Adath Israel Congregation, Cosmeau World Music Trio and Southern Gateway Chorus performed as part of the 9th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days. 

With a theme of “Harmony for Humanity” these groups came together to use music to promote cross-cultural understanding and emphasize our common humanity. 


For the past five years, hundreds of Isaac M. Wise Temple congregants have come together to repair the world as part of its annual Tikkun Olam-athon at Wise Center. This year, congregants have the choice of participating in two different events, each targeted to different age groups and their interests. 


Rabbi Paul Kushner will be the visiting scholar in residence at Temple Beth Sholom in Middletown the weekend of Oct. 15–16. 


Major Harold Emanuel Sterne was born April 25, 1929 and died on October 2, 2010, at the age of 81 in Sarasota, Florida, formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

— Oct. 14, 2010

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