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Cleveland Cultural Gardens at
Maltz Museum of Jewish History
September 26, 2009

Throughout October 2009, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage celebrated our community's rich, diverse heritage with Cleveland: A Celebration of Cultures, an exhibition and festival with multicultural artifacts, native dress, a display on the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, performances, lectures, activities, food and fun.

"We're so lucky to live here, where any night of the week you can attend a lecture on neighborhoods, enjoy a musical or performance or feast on delicacies from around the world. We take it for granted, because Cleveland's diversity is a lucky fact of our lives. We're more alike than different, but each with our own traditions. We celebrate those similarities and the unique differences," says Judi Feniger, Executive Director.

An exhibit on the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, curated by the Museum and Cleveland State University, shines a proud spotlight on this treasure covering 1.5 miles in University Circle's Rockefeller Park. The Gardens were created as a lasting tribute to peace, harmony and mutual understanding. They have been the site of countless parades, weddings, musicals, dances and celebrations, and have hosted dignitaries from around the world. A renewed interest in their continued vitality has led to establishment of new gardens and revitalization of others in recent years.

The visionary behind the gardens was Leo Weidenthal, an editor of the Jewish Independent (founded by his brother, Maurice, later The Cleveland Jewish News).

Daniel Weidenthal and Dan Hanson discuss the Gardens

Daniel Weidenthal and Dan Hanson discuss the Gardens


The Gardens began in the early 1900s as a response to the xenophobia of the times and in the aftermath of World War I; the first of the nationality gardens was the Hebrew Garden, established in 1926.

Dr. Mark Tebeau, Department of History, Cleveland State University, notes, "These Gardens reveal the history of immigration to, and migration within, the United States; stories of the major conflicts that gave shape to the century and insight into the large social, economic, political and cultural upheavals that roiled through the nation, including the Great Depression, suburbanization, the Civil Rights Movement, and the deindustrialization of America's heartland."

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation had a special preview event on Saturday September 26, 2009.

Enjoy these photos and videos from the event

Paul Burik, president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation and Board member George Terbrack

Paul Burik, president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation and Board Member George Terbrack


The reception before the presentations and performances

Reception before the presentations and performances


Cultural Garden reception at Maltz Museum


Cultural Garden reception at Maltz Museum - Dr. Linda Schoenberg (veterinarian), Bill Jones (Vice-President, CCGF), Bud Weidenthal.

Dr. Linda Schoenberg, Bill Jones (Vice-President, Cultural Garden Federation) and Bud Weidenthal.


Cultural Garden reception at Maltz Museum - James Graham, Dr. Jill Mushkat (psychologist), David Dusek

James Graham, Dr. Jill Mushkat and David Dusek


Daniel Weidenthal, MD

Daniel Weidenthal, MD


Anda Cook and husband Bill

Anda Cook and husband Bill


Bob Gries

Bob Gries


Italian Garden representatives Gino Colage and Joyce Mariani

Italian Garden representatives Gino Colage and Joyce Mariani


Mary Hamlin greets a bagpiper

Cultural Garden Executive Secretary Mary Hamlin
greets bagpiper Don Willis


Paul Burik and Dan Hanson check out the bagpiper

Paul Burik and Dan Hanson with bagpiper Don Willis


Sheila Murphy Crawford and husband Bob Crawford

Sheila Murphy Crawford and husband Bob Crawford


FLudmila Hyvnar and Fran Burik

Ludmila Hyvnar and Fran Burik


Raj Pillai

Indian Garden representative Raj Pillai


After the opening reception, guests moved to the exhibit room where they were welcomed by Cultural Garden Federation president Paul Burik who gave a brief history of the Gardens.




Guests browsed the displays and photos

Cultural Garden displays at the Maltz Museum


Estonian Cultural Garden


Cleveland Cultural Garden displays


Cleveland Cultural Garden displays


Cleveland Czech Cultural Garden display - Ludmila Hyvnar and Fran Burik

Fran Burik and Ludmila Hyvnar admire the
Czech Cultural Garden display


Cleveland Indian Cultural Garden display with Raj Pillai

Raj Pillai at Cleveland Indian Cultural Garden display


Sheila Murphy Crawford at at Cleveland Irish Cultural Garden display

Sheila Murphy Crawford at
Cleveland Irish Cultural Garden display


Italian Cultural Garden display


Monika Smid and George Terbrack

Monika Smid and George Terbrack

Several groups then performed in the main exhibit room including PIAST, Artistic Folk and Dance Ensemble featuring Asia Sycala.

PIAST dancer Asia Sycala

Asia Sycala




See more from Asia and PIAST



Slovenske Mamicky (Slovak Mommas) also performed. Monika Smid on accordion and Miluba Anderko and Maria Cvicela on vocals

Slovenske Mamicky - Slovak mommas






See more from Tri Slovenske Mamicky


Bagpiper Don Willis represented the Scottish community

Don Willis represented the Scottish community


Mary Hamlin and husband Clive watch the performances

Mary Hamlin and husband Clive watch the performances


Young people from Murphy Irish Dancers performed several traditional Irish dances.

Murphy Irish Dancers







(See more from the Murphy Irish Dancers)

After the performances, the guests heard from Alex Storozynski, author of The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution

Alex Storozynski, author of The Peasant Prince

Alex Storozynski, author of The Peasant Prince


The evening concluded with a presentation by Dan Hanson titled Cleveland Cultural Gardens: Past and Present.

Dan Hanson speaking about the Cultural Gardens

Dan Hanson speaking about the Cultural Gardens


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