The Columbus Jewish Historical Society preserves the stories, artifacts, images, and heritage of the Jewish communities of Central Ohio.

Founded in 1981, CJHS was created to collect important documents, photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts related to the 180 years of permanent Jewish settlement in the region and to organize, preserve, and disseminate our history to future generations.  Toward the goal of disseminating our history, CJHS organizes and sponsors programs throughout the year on local history and genealogy, and regularly partners with area synagogues and other history organizations to preserve and promote Central Ohio’s Jewish heritage.  CJHS is committed to regularly upgrading our powerful new state-of-the-art website to improve access to its holdings.

In December 2015 CJHS opened it’s new permanent exhibit space known as “The Historical Collection” to the public. This is the first time that there will be permanent exhibit space dedicated to the Jewish history of central Ohio. With exhibits that are scheduled to change at least twice a year, the space will allow visitors to understand the long and important history of the area.

To view The Columbus Dispatch article on the opening of the Historical Collection, Click Here.

Past accomplishments include:

  • Conversion of more than 70 years of The Ohio Jewish Chronicle into a searchable archive.
  • Recording and transcribing more than 344 oral histories.
  • Receiving, processing, preserving, and cataloging more than 5,000 items.
  • Acquisition of a collection of 500,000 negatives from the family of local photographer Herb Topy.
  • Development of the award winning exhibit Legacy 2010: 170 Years of Jewish Life in Central Ohio presented at the Leo Yassenoff Jewish Center.
  • Researching, writing, directing and producing the award-winning WWI play Letters Home, 1918 based on letters from our archives.

CJHS is proud to have received recognition for our historical and archival efforts:

The Ohio Local History Alliance Public Programming Award, 2019 for the play, “Letters Home, 1918”.



The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Society’s Program of the Year Award, 2011,  for “Legacy 2010, 170 years of Jewish life in Central Ohio”


City Council Resolution recognizing the exhibit “Legacy 2010: 170 Years of Jewish Life in Central Ohio”