The Hebrew Cultural Garden was dedicated May 5, 1926.
This Welcome Sign put up for One World Day in 2007 says:
Highlights of the Hebrew Cultural GardenIn 1916, Leo Weidenthal asked William Hopkins, City Manager, to donate land for a Hebrew Cultural Garden, which became the second in a chain of 23 cultural gardens.
The stone walks are laid out to form the Star of David, a six pointed star and symbol of the Jewish community with a hexagonal fountain and pool in the center. Seven slender marble columns, representing the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, support the fountain bowl. Around the bowl, in Hebrew, is a raised inscription, which translates to,"Wisdom hath built herself a house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars" (Proverbs 9:1)
The original design included large stone tablets as four points of the Star of David which bore bronze plagues of the Jewish philosophers, Ginsburg, Maimonides, Mendelssohn, and Spinoza.
At the north end of the garden is the Poet's Corner with a ravine rock garden that contained plants from Israel. On the rocks along the back of the ravine were bronze tablets with inscriptions from Hebrew literature.
At the south of the garden is the Music Garden dedicated in 1937. It was planted in the shape of a Hebrew Harp with a monument bearing plagues of Hebrew composers Book, Goldmark, Halevy and Meyerbeer.
Throughout the sixties and seventies the Garden was vandalized, the fountain crumbled and 23 plagues were stolen.
Since 1996, community members have volunteered to clean, paint and maintain the Garden. The Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, Holden Parks Trust and dedicated community members renovated the marble fountain and are working to restore the garden to its original beauty.
Fountain of Wisdom
The seven columns on the fountain represent the seven Pillars of Wisdom. It is inscribed with the quotation, in Hebrew characters, from the Book of Proverbs:
"Wisdom hath built herself a house
she hath hewn her out seven pillars."
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of B'nai B'rith in Cleveland January 14, 1853.
The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith or "Sons of the Covenant" is the oldest continually-operating Jewish service organization in the world.
Unfortunately, the Hebrew Garden was vandalized in the 1960's and 1970's and 23 plaques were stolen. The Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland has been supporting the beautification and maintenance of the Hebrew Garden. For One World Day 2007, signs were placed over the spot where many of the plaques were originally.
Asher Hirsch Ginsburg (1856-1927)
Prominent Early Zionist and Hebrew Language Revivalist
Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677)
In his magnum opus, the posthumous Ethics, Spinoza opposed Descartes' mind–body dualism. He is considered to be one of Western philosophy's most important philosophers
Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934)
was the foremost modern Hebrew poet and came to be recognized as Israel's national poet
Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)
The Emma Lazarus plaque was dedicated June 16, 1949, to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth. The Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations, presented the plaque, which is inscribed with a phrase from the sonnet of Emma Lazarus which is affixed in bronze to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Henrietta Szold (1860-1945)
Founder of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America
Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786)
was a German Jewish Philosopher whose ideas led to Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment
Moses Maimonides - RamBaM (1135-1204)
was a great Jewish philosopher and the first codifier of Jewish Law
See more of the Hebrew Gardens on One World Day 2007
See the origins of the Hebrew Gardens in short videos from a lecture by Nate Arnold at the Maltz Museum
Back to Top
Back to Cleveland Jews