Sally Wertheim, Judah Rubinstein: Cleveland’s Jewish voices heard in new book

Source: Cleveland Jewish News, 5-6-11

Merging Traditions: Jewish Life in Cleveland

When professor, writer and community activist Sally Wertheim received a carton filled with 100 original documents from the Jewish archives at The Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), what did she do?

She teamed with the late educator Alan D. Bennett (father of CJN publisher and editor Michael E. Bennett) to edit the anthology Remembering: Cleveland’s Jewish Voices. The newly released 350-page paperback, published by The Kent State University Press, was a labor of love for the authors, who ultimately continued the work of the late Jewish historian Judah Rubinstein, co-author of Merging Traditions: Jewish Life in Cleveland.

“It was a great honor to be able to complete Judah’s work and bring first-person accounts of Jewish Clevelanders to life,” Wertheim said. “It was also a privilege to collaborate with my co-editor, bridge partner and friend Alan.”

The impetus for the book came from historian Jane Avner, a former WRHS Jewish archivist. Avner, who had initially collaborated with Rubinstein to create the anthology, turned to Wertheim to help complete it upon Rubinstein’s death in 2003.

Avner brought her the box of documents Rubinstein had spent years compiling from the archives with the intention of editing a book that preserved Cleveland’s written historical record.
“As soon as I looked at the documents Judah had painstakingly collected, I was hooked,” said Wertheim, a Pepper Pike resident. She began researching each of the Jewish contributors and then grouped the essays, short stories and poems dating from the late 1800s to the 1980s into five categories: arts and culture; civic life; work and business; Jewish continuity; and philanthropy and service….READ MORE

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