Now Open – L’Chaim! A “Spirited” History of Central Ohio Jews, 1850-1950

As early as the 1850’s, central Ohio Jews were active in the local liquor industry. From saloons and taverns to nightclubs, from manufacturing to distribution their involvement grew.  The exhibit will look at the reasons for going into this business, the early establishments, Prohibition and its effects on the Jewish community and the post Prohibition revival of bars, clubs and distributors. We will also look at the businesses that grew out of early involvement in bars and still exist today.

Join us for this fascinating look at a long history of Jewish involvement in the local liquor industry.


Date Opens November 2019

LocationThe Historical Collection, 1175 College Ave.

TimeMon-Fri 10-3:30, Sundays by Appointment (Please call 614.238.6977 or email to schedule a time.)

The Big Give








Donate now to CJHS through the Columbus Foundation’s Big Give.  During this 25-hour online giving event, your donation will be boosted thanks to the Bonus Pool provided by the Columbus Foundation. All credit card fees will be covered by the Foundation so 100% of your donation goes directly to us.  Please join us in the effort to help save our history.

Donate using the link below:

Thanks to our generous partners below, all Big Give donors will receive a special receipt with exclusive redeemable perks

Date June 10th and 11th


Our office is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus and all programs and tours have been postponed.  We will continue to respond to phone and email messages and keep in touch through Facebook.  Our thoughts are with all of you during this difficult time.

Prohibition Blues: Social Trends and Cultural Crazes in American Popular Song in the 1920s

NOTE:  This program has been postponed due to the COVID virus and will be rescheduled to a later date.  Please check back for updates.

The Music of Prohibition – A First Sunday Program

Daniel Goldmark, Professor of Popular Music and Director of the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University will speak about the music of the Prohibition period – from Yiddish songs protesting the new law to Tin Pan Alley. Join us for this fun musical program!

Date Sunday, April 5, 2020

LocationThe Historical Collection, 1175 College Ave.

Time 2:00 pm (exhibit opens at 1:00 pm)

Jews & Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition

NOTE:  This program has been postponed due to the COVID virus and will be rescheduled to a later date.  Please check back for updates.

Jews & Booze

Marni Davis, Professor of History at Georgia State University, will talk about the important role American Jews played in the liquor trade and the hostilities they elicited during the Prohibition era.  Her book,  “Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition” was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature.  She teaches courses on modern Jewish history, immigrants in the United States and the history of alcohol.

This event is co-sponsored by Ohio State’s Melton Center for Jewish Studies and supported by the Thomas and Diann Mann Symposium fund and the Diane Cummins Community Education Fund.

Date Sunday, March 29, 2020

LocationJewish Center, 1125 College Ave

Time1:00 PM

“Where Harry Met Sally” – The Jewish Deli in Pop Culture

CJHS & Jewish Bookfair Present:

Two Special Programs about Jewish Delicatessens

Sunday, October 27

Where Harry Met Sally

Ted Merwin, the author of “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli”, will present an entertaining, interactive program about the heyday of the deli, the changing representation of Jewish-American delis in music, film and television and the evolution of delis today. Ted has published numerous articles and given more than a hundred public lectures on Jewish-American food and culture.

Please join us for this special presentation and a one-night only Pop-Up Kosher Deli Buffet Dinner presented by Harvey & Ed’s. Deli Buffet Dinner begins at 5:30 followed by the program at 7:00 pm.

Tickets to the Deli Buffet Dinner are SOLD OUT!  Tickets to the Program will still be available for purchase at the door.

Title Sponsor


A great night with a delicious dinner followed by an exciting speaker:


Date Sunday, October 27

LocationJewish Center, 1125 College Ave

Time5:30-Dinner Buffet, 7:00-Program

Now Open!!! From Bris to Brisket

How do we develop a Jewish community? When did the synagogues of central Ohio open and which remain? Who were our rabbis, our mohels and our shochets?

And. very importantly, where did we find our kosher food?

CJHS explores this history and finds some suprises!

Date Opens January 2019

LocationThe Historical Collection, 1175 College Ave.

TimeWeekdays and 1st Sunday of each month

Letters Home, 1918

CJHS will present our play “Letters Home” one final time! Developed from actual letters in our archives this funny and touching play recounts the lives of Jewish men and women of central Ohio who were involved in WWI. Letters Home is researched, written and directed by CJHS. It will be performed on the Jewish Center stage.


If you saw this play in May, come back again- there are a few surprises in store!

Buy Tickets Online

Date Wednesday, July 10

LocationJewish Center, 1125 College Ave

Time8:00 p.m.

Seltzertopia – The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink

CJHS and Jewish BookFair welcome author Barry Joseph who will speak on the history of the seltzer business. Mr. Joseph who says he accidentally became the “world’s expert on soda”, investigates the Jewish roots of this popular drink.  A special soda tasting sponsored by Harvey & Ed’s will accompany this presentation!



Date Sunday, June 2, 2019

LocationThe Historical Collection, 1175 College Ave.

Time2:00 PM

Kosher Restaurants, The Past & The Future

CJHS will look at the kosher food options in central Ohio since the 1900’s then special guest Joel Marcovitch will talk about what the future might hold. Bring your memories of the local restaurants and delis!


Date Sunday, April 7, 2019

LocationCJHS Historical Collection - 1175 College Ave

Time1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Talk begins at 2:00PM

Now Open – “From Bris to Brisket” at the Historical Collection

How do we develop a Jewish community? When did the synagogues of central Ohio form? Who were our rabbis, our mohels and our shochets? And, very importantly where did we get our kosher food? CJHS explores this history and finds some surprises. Come visit the Historical Collection at our exhibit space at 1175 College Ave.


LocationCJHS Historical Collection - 1175 College Ave

TimeTuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

1918 – Central Ohio Jews and the World War

CJHS is proud to announce the newest exhibit in The Historical Collection.

1918- Central Ohio Jews & the World War

CJHS artifacts enable visitors to step back in history


This exhibit explores our community in 1918, the 261 central Ohio men who served the United States and the effects of the War on the home front.


A Jewish American Story


The Historical Collection is open from 10- 3:30, Monday – Friday

We are open the first Sunday of each month (except holidays) and

by appointment, call 614.238.0374 or email


CJHS Wall of WWI Veterans


We hope to see you soon.

We are located at 1175 College Ave., the Jewish Federation/Foundation building


The rich CJHS archives revealed


CJHS artifacts


Butler family


Luper family reunion attendees visit





Date Feb 4 2018 - Dec 15 2018

LocationCJHS Historical Collection - 1175 College Ave

Time10:00 AM - 3:30 PM Mon-Fri

Two Super Programs on Superheroes – Highlights from event

CJHS & Jewish Bookfair Present

Two SUPER Programs on Superheroes









Program 1

Arie Kaplan is coming to Columbus! 

Author of the award-winning book From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books , writer, cartoonist, screenwriter and comedian, Arie pays homage to the Jewish comic book writers who inspired him and who led the way in the development of the Superhero. Arie has had a career writing for Mad Magazine, The Simpsons and developing Superman Stories, LEGO inspired books for young readers, Little Golden Books, video games and a variety of pop-culture projects. 

This program presented in cooperation with Jewish Bookfair.

For the adults: 

Arie will speak at 7:00 pm in the JCC. October 21, 2018

Location: JCC 1125 College Ave, Cols OH

Tickets are $18. Available only through the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. Checks payable to CJHS, 1175 College Ave, Columbus Ohio. Pay online via our website or on our facebook page. For further info call 614.238.6977.

Program 2

Create Your Own Superhero

Arie Kaplan presents a SPECIAL workshop for kids grades 4-8 on Sunday afternoon. Learn how comic book and video writers develop a superhero. Then use this information to create YOUR OWN SUPERHERO!  This is a unique opportunity to meet a comic developer and learn his methods. 

This is a FREE program thanks to the sponsorship of The Wasserstrom Family! 

Program is at 3:00 PM on October 21, 2018.

Location: JCC 1125 College Ave, Cols OH

Here are some pictures from these two fantastic events:




Date Sunday, October 21st, 2018

LocationJewish Community Center 1125 College Ave, Columbus, Ohio


First Sunday – 1000 Years of Memories

Join us as I. David Cohen presents his new book 1000 Years of Memories.

Newly published, this book recounts the life stories of 10 local individuals who

have reached the age of 100 or beyond. Each one is asked for their earliest memory

which triggers a flood of stories- happy and sad. Two of those interviewed are members

of the Jewish community. David will recall the interviews and tell us more about his experiences

with these centenarians.

Exhibit opens at 1.00, talk begins at 2.00

At The Historical Collection, 1175 College Ave.

Date Sunday, August 5th, 2018

LocationCJHS Historical Collection - 1175 College Ave

Time2:00 - 3:00 PM

Wounded Warriors 1918 and 2018 featuring Dr Ian Valerio

Wounded Warriors—1918 and 2018


The nature of war injuries has changed dramatically over the past 100 years, but so has the quality of medical care.  Modern techniques now allow functional survival after injuries that were uniformly disabling or fatal 100 years ago. Of our 262 central Ohio WWI veterans, several sustained life changing injuries. Join us at The Historical Collection on July 1 for this special presentation.

Dr Ian Valerio
Photo Courtesy of The Ohio State University website

Speaker:      Dr. Ian Valerio, MD, MS, MBA,CDR, MC, USNR

Associate Professor, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Department Head, General and Trauma Surgery, Kandahar, Afghanistan 2012-2013

Date Sunday, July 1st, 2018

LocationCJHS Historical Collection - 1175 College Ave

Time2:00 PM (Exhibit Opens at 1:00PM)