Green Road Synagogue, one of Greater Cleveland’s largest Orthodox congregations, traces its origins to a handful of immigrants from Marmaresher Sziger, Hungary, who established the Marmaresher B’nai Jacob Society in the Woodland neighborhood in 1910.
The members of the self-help society rented a room at E. 26th St. and Woodland Ave. purchased a building at E. 25the St. near Woodland. The congregation moved to a rented building at E. 30th St. and Scovill in 1920. In May 1922, the congregation incorporated as the First Marmaresher B’nai Jacob Congregation.
Although it was not a large congregation, it purchased a brick building in Glenville in 1922 from the Cleveland Jewish Center in order to serve those members who had moved out of the Woodland neighborhood. The following year, the congregation hired its first rabbi, Meyer Leifer, a graduate of the Huszr Seminary in Hungary.
The Woodland branch of the congregation moved to E. 61st St. and Woodland Ave. in 1922 and remained there until 1932, when the property was sold and the membership joined the Glenville branch. Reflecting the broadening of activities sponsored by synagogues during this era, the congregation changed its name to Anshe Marmaresher Congregation in 1937 and was popularly known as the Marmaresher Jewish Center. Following the move of Jews out of Glenville after World War II, Anshe Marmaresher relocated to a building on Lancashire Rd. in the Heights.
As the Orthodox community settled between Taylor Road and Green Road in the 1960s, another move became imminent. With a loan from the Heights Jewish Center, Anshe Marmaresher purchased property on Green Road, and in 1972 dedicated a new synagogue. Recognizing that it was no longer a landsman congregation and following the lead of other congregations that adopted names based on their street location, the congregation became known as the Green Road Synagogue.
From the Cleveland Jewish Archives, Western Reserve Historical Society.