Our History

Congregation Shaarey Tikvah was formed in 1940 by a group of German Jewish refugees. In its first ten years, the congregation met in four different buildings in Cleveland. In 1970, the congregation merged with Hillcrest Synagogue (B’nai Israel) and moved to that synagogue’s building in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. The merged congregation was called Mayfield Hillcrest-Shaarey Tikvah B’nai Israel. In 1986, the congregation moved to its present home in Beachwood, Ohio. When the congregation dedicated the new building, it adopted the name Congregation Shaarey Tikvah. Major construction in 2003 added a warm and beautiful Beit Tefilah and a welcoming atrium and renovated our sanctuary, office and school wings, and social hall.

After the initial leadership of Rabbi Hans Zucker and Dr. Manfred Strauss, Dr. Enoch H. Kronheim, z”l, became the congregation’s first full-time rabbi in January 1946. Jacob Shtull, z”l, was installed as Rabbi in 1958 and served as spiritual leader for 35 years, until he retired in 1992. He was replaced by Rabbi Gary Robuck who served until 2003. The synagogue has since been led by Rabbi Eddie Bernstein, Rabbi David Kosak, Rabbi Eddie Sukol (in an interim capacity), and Rabbi Scott Roland, who was installed in July 2016.

The Congregation honors its origins in many ways. Perhaps the most significant was its creation of the Face to Face program, now managed by the Kol Israel Foundation, which encourages area students to develop an increased sense of responsibility by confronting the historical reality of World War II and the Holocaust. Volunteers, including many from Shaarey Tikvah, have educated tens of thousands of students about the Jewish experience of the Holocaust since the program’s inception in 1994. Most of the student participants are not Jewish and have never before seen the inside of a synagogue. In 2023, the Face to Face program moved to B’nai Jeshurun Congregation as it continues to grow and thrive.

Today, our Congregation includes descendants of the original founding families and members from many backgrounds, states, countries and cultures. Our diversity is one of our core strengths.