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8501 Ridge Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

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Rabbi Gary Zola, Ph.D. tells us about our founder Joseph Jonas and the Founding of Jewish Communal Life in Cincinnati.

Rockdale Temple was founded by a small group of Jews who had settled in Cincinnati, then a frontier town.  Their first meeting took place in 1824. These leaders recognized the need for a synagogue and efforts were made to raise funds for a building. In 1836 our first home at Sixth and Broadway was consecrated. In 1852 another synagogue was built on the same site. As the Jewish community grew and moved to other parts of the city, the congregation also moved, first to Eighth and Mound Streets, then to Rockdale and Harvey Avenues and, in 1969, to the present location on Ridge Road in Amberley Village.

For thirty-one years, readers or cantors conducted services. In 1855, Dr. Max Lilienthal was elected as our first permanent rabbi. Under Dr. Lilienthal’s leadership many reforms were introduced into the previously orthodox service and the congregation was actively involved in the beginnings of the Reform movement. Since that time there have been ten rabbis. Throughout the long history of the congregation, distinguished rabbis have relied on remarkably able and committed lay leadership. Rabbis and members have participated actively in communal activities in the Jewish and general community.

Interview with Philip T. Cohen, z"l

On Friday, July 14, 2017, we premiered the following interview with Philip T. Cohen, Rockdale Temple's President 1965-1967. Enjoy as Phil recalls the years he spent serving Rockdale, and the many transformations that have taken place within the congregation since he first became an active member in 1948. 

Sun, May 28 2023 8 Sivan 5783