Bread and Chocolate

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 20:52.

The Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Victor Liva today at Zion United Church of Christ in Tremont today--was transcendent.

The music felt like chocolate for the soul, after subsisting on bread and water for too long. 

Please support these efforts to bring joy, magic and mystery to our great and, too often, underappreciated, sacred places in NEO.

For the record--the acoustics at this Church are AMAZING!

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A beautiful space

What a wonderful space, and I can't help but notice the Moorish imfluences on the interior design of the church.  Could this have at one time been a Mosque?

As always, thanks for allowing me and others to have a proper, visual understanding of all that Cleveland and NEO have to offer.

Seasons Greetings!


Believe it or not

  A German congregation...we are all one and the same...German/Moorish?? 

( A little bit like the marriage between Seal and Heidi Klum...beautiful results :)

Speaking of all things German

I like your analogy--comparison.  And the fact that it is a German congregation, I wonder if that means the builder was also German too?

What's the Moorish connection?

Though speaking of all things German, I have a very good relationship with the executive staff here in Atlanta at the German Cultural Center (Goethe Institute).  In fact, there is a high-probability that I will be collaborating with them on the development of their expanding art program(s). 

Aside from that, thanks again for sharing your photos with RealNeo.  I always enjoy them...and, WHEN are you and Jeff B. going to put together a group exhibition?

Ya'll really need to consider it.


This is our GALLERY

REALNEO welcomes photos and artwork from everyone. We can't guarantee fame and fortune, but you will get some recognition here :)

why did I think this was a westside synagogue?

 there used to be a Jewish Community Center down the street and there is a jewish cemetery within a mile.

the facing on the attached building says "Zion's Shul" - which I believe is yiddish for synagogue - no?

and Zion is of course, Israel...

Zion Church and Shul

 Zion UCC was built by German immigrants in either 1864 or 1867. The Shul is for "school" and is on the old school building. The old school is now called the fellowship hall and has beautiful woodwork and stained glass. One of many beautiful churches around the area.


 aww... I thought it was

 aww... I thought it was one of the few west-side synagogues - but that is beautiful! I loved those brass (?) lamps in the fellowship hall. The craftsmanship is remarkable. Its saying something that few have the patience or ability to create such detail these days - maybe in other ways?


former synagogue

The now Pentecostal church at Fulton & Chatham is a former synagogue. The Star of David window came down when the current church went in. There is plain glass in a round window facing east. 1 block south is the Willet Street Cemetery (Fulton used to be Willet St) that is on Fulton between Siam and Bailey, which is a Jewish Cemetery.

strength in numbers

 yes - thats the cemetery I was thinking of!

It would be nice to put together a collection of jewish places that used to be. There used to be a book, called the "ragman" or something that listed a few. I was told that most of the jewish population moved east during/after the depression - strength in numbers

Rooted in tradition

  On PBS, I caught a snippet of a rabbi lamenting the assimilation of American Jews and it made me sad, because we do lose all of the good traditions that keep families and communities together.

At Zion, the program ended with a medley of Christmas songs, that sadly most of us have forgotten--even simple songs like "Deck the Halls."

The rabbi noted that without strong roots, centuries of growth in a tree will topple over.  I am reading On the Shoulders of Giants by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, about his own search for identity and the legacy of traditions that enabled him to rise.  We need these stories and we need to keep memory and tradition alive.

Here in my own neighborhood, I lament the loss of a family from Liberia--so, strongly rooted in their own cultural traditions that stressed respect, sharing, and memory.  But, as their boys were growing into manhood, they were becoming assimilated into the sad tribal culture we allow to pass for family in America.  They moved to Iowa to rejoin their larger tribe of relatives in America and to provide roots for their children. 

Someday, Oretha will find a translator for her language Craun and she will be able to tell her amazing story of survival--I hope that it will be a happy story of how she and Marcus preserved their family by preserving their traditions within a supportive community.

Cleveland and NEO, please take note and encourage this duality in America. 

How can we preserve our languages, culture, music, food and dance, while also living in America?  I am encouraged to see that one of the many schools I attended in my life--SUNY-ESF--is looking at ways of banking these languages and cultures to attract and retain the students, who will redesign the communities of our future.

turn off the TV

I've been noticing lately how quickly TV erodes our culture - replaces long standing legacy and tradition with a new ethos.

My older children watched very little TV - what they learned, they learned from me, school and friends. And they did not attend public schools until 2, 4 & 5th grades.

Our boys watch very little TV, now. They come from a culture of constant TV, but they are being weaned into a selective viewing environment. They have a plethora of books, their favorite movies are E.T. and the Wizard of Oz. I picked up a nursery rhyme video at the dollar store and our youngest selects it constantly. Its such a delight to hear him singing the Farmer in the Dell as he gets ready for dinner. And he learned all the aleph-bet letters on the dreidel in 4 nights. He's only 3, but they are little sponges at that age.

Parents instill culture. Its our job. Some don't take it very seriously.

The Philharmonic Orchestra at Zion UCC

 The orchestra will return for another concert this December. Please come hear them play in this beautiful, old church.

I just received the annual report of this church, struggling as many inner city churches do. In 2009, volunteers served 8,039 hot meals to 6,637 people at their Saturday dinners. The food pantry served a total of 2,228 people (20,052 meals). Only the part time pastor receives a salary. The rest is done by volunteers, and they still had the energy to host two concerts this past year.


Magic in the CITY

 Thanks DWebb for the reminder and hopeful news.  Please scroll up and see the images from a magical night in the CITY of Cleveland.  Thank you for your help in keeping UCC Zion alive and for all of the many volunteers--ANGELS.