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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HEBREW ACADEMY - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The HEBREW ACADEMY is an Orthodox day school that provides a full religious and secular education from pre-kindergarten to high school. The academy was established in 1943 through the efforts of Rabbi Elijah M. Bloch and Rabbi Chaim M. Katz of the TELSHE YESHIVA to provide a Torah-oriented education for Cleveland's Jewish youth. Classes began in Sept. 1943 with 24 students of elementary-school age meeting in the basement of the Cleveland Jewish Ctr. By 1946 the academy's enrollment was 170, and construction began on a new building on Taylor Rd. which was dedicated in Jan. 1949. A year earlier, the Hebrew Academy had become an affiliate of the JEWISH COMMUNITY FEDERATION by joining the BUREAU OF JEWISH EDUCATION. From its original enrollment of 24 students, the academy grew to 800 in 1993. Several new classroom and multipurpose wings were added to the original building between 1953 and 1985. The Hebrew Academy expanded its age-group offering beginning in 1951, when a Jr. High School department was added. The Yavne High School for Girls was established in 1957, and a boys' high school, Mesivta, was created in 1965. In recognition of the donation by Irving Stone of land and buildings, the latter is now known as the Jacob Sapirstein Mesivta High School in honor of Stone's father, the founder of AMERICAN GREETINGS CORP. In 1979 a foreign-student division was created to provide religious and secular classes for nearly 140 Iranian and Russian children. Rabbi N. W. Dessler, principal since 1944, assumed the position of dean in 1988. Enrollment for the 1994-95 school year was 747 and Rabbi Shalom Strajcher served as education director.

Bureau of Jewish Education Records, WRHS.

Hebrew Academy Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 03:28:00 PM

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