Cleveland’s Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple Synagogue is a special synagogue and is one of the leading reform synagogues in the country.
Back in 1842, it had only 30 members. It remains an active success in welcoming young adults and toddlers into synagogue life. The synagogue is open to Jews of all denominations including interfaith families.
On 1912 Anshe Chesed Congregation moved from its building on Scovill Avenue at Henry Street to its new home at Euclid Avenue and East 82nd Street where it would be known as the Euclid Avenue Temple. In 1948, a 32-acre site on Fairmount Boulevard was purchased. After a long zoning battle that the city, the construction of Anshe Chesed’s present home was finally approved. The synagogue itself is a piece of art. The Tiffany’s windows add to the spiritual feeling of the space.
The shabbat services are very unique than a traditional synagogue. On the first Friday of the month, a special 20-minute service gets kids to participate in an interactive way, very different than most synagogues where children are not the first priority. On the Second Friday of the month, is a Kabbalat Shabbat with contemporary music in a spirited informal environment. The synagogue is open to all, on the third Friday of the month, everyone can participate in Chevrei Tikva Shabbat which has special outreach to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews and friends.
Education is a top priority. The Arthur J Lelyveld Center for Learning has 5,000 books; it is one of the largest synagogue libraries in the country with a growing collection of audiovisual materials and subscriptions to more than 60 periodicals. Children even have access to their own library.
Every week is an opportunity to study torah. On Wednesday morning rabbis lead a discussion. The women’s study group is open to all women and meets several times a year. Torah study is offered every Saturday morning. On many Sunday’s throughout the year, the Brotherhood hosts a forum on several different topics ranging from science to music.