Potential Merger

Merger Vote Passes!


On Friday, March 15, the clergy from Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple joined the clergy at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, appearing for the first time as the future clergy of Congregation Mishkan Or! Watch Senior Rabbi Rob Nosanchuk’s sermon honoring the historic vote or read the transcription here.

March 7, 2024

Dear Congregants,

The members of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple and The Temple-Tifereth Israel have overwhelmingly voted to unify and become Congregation Mishkan Or as of July 1, 2024. With shared resources and new opportunities for worship, programming, education, community impact and more, we will now become a “Dwelling Place of Light” for approximately 2,000 families.

Thank you for your courage, vision and patience over the past 18 months as we explored this significant opportunity. During the months ahead, members and staff from both congregations will continue to finalize the details that will help us become one congregation. Our clergy will continue to connect and expand relationships across congregations.

Members of our Legacy and Heritage and Museum Committees are thoughtfully working to ensure that our legacies are reflected in our new congregation. Other committees, such as finance and technology, are meeting to make sure we have a solid budget and a platform with which to communicate.

In the coming weeks, we will share more information about the progress we are making, including details around staff, administration, worship, religious school, early childhood programs, teen and adult education, congregation programming, community outreach, and more. Please watch for opportunities to support this process and develop deeper and new relationships with clergy and congregants.

Finally, while the vote to unify was overwhelmingly positive, we understand that some congregants may still have concerns about this unification. We will continue to answer your questions and work to address your concerns. We believe that as we move forward, the promise of what we are creating will be realized by each of us and have a profound impact on our lives, the lives of our friends and families, the Greater Cleveland community and the Reform Jewish movement.


Beth Dery, President
The Temple-Tifereth Israel

Michele Krantz, President
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

The Temple-Tifereth Israel is excited to share the latest updates regarding our exploratory process for the opportunity to join with Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple as one congregation.


The creation of Congregation Mishkan Or is the result of so many congregants, clergy and staff generously sharing time and expertise. We are grateful for their ongoing contributions. Work continues in all operational, educational and liturgical areas. The steering committee is carefully studying and coordinating all unification-related activities. Please click here to read about all of the different subcommittees.

Here’s an overview of the congregational messages that have been sent throughout this process.

February 27, 2024: Testimonials from Clergy and Congregants

February 14, 2024: Congregational Meeting Regarding the Merger

January 30, 2024: Naming Our Future

January 23, 2024: Imagine Our Future

December 21, 2023 Message about Clergy Gatherings

November 6, 2023 Message & FAQs

September 20, 2023 High Holy Day Message

September 13, 2023 Message

June 20, 2023 Message & FAQs

April 24, 2023 Message

Questions? Comments? Concerns? We want to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to email Temple President Beth Dery at president@ttti.org.


Create an innovative, multi-generational Reform Jewish congregation that warmly welcomes everyone and ignites engagement through robust offerings as a vibrant, spiritual community. This opportunity is made greater when we combine the strength of our current membership and resources.


From Our Temples’ Points of View:

  • Both The Temple-Tifereth Israel and Fairmount Temple have engaged congregations and robust organizations.
  • We are similar in size and membership demographics.
  • We share the desire to ensure a strong future for our congregations and Reform Judaism in the Greater Cleveland community.

External Factors Influencing Temples Like Ours:

  • Demographic/generational changes
  • Decline of membership or affiliation with organized religion in general
  • Increased desire for more diversity in programming and for programming that meets people where they are

Local and National Trends Impacting Our Temples:

  • Our congregations are getting older (70% are at least 60 years old), mirroring the demographics of the region.
  • Gallup reports that Americans’ membership in houses of worship continue to decline. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, temple or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.
  • For those who identify as Jewish:
  • 25% of adults identify with no religion and consider themselves Jewish for another reason and younger generations affiliate less with organizations in general than older generations.
  • In the past decade, 72% of Non-Orthodox Jews married a non-Jewish spouse, compared to 54% from 2000 – 2009.
  • Most Jews who say they are Reform don’t belong to a temple, highlighting the changing nature of membership even among those who continue to affiliate with the Reform movement.
  • A sense of belonging through social circles and families is at the center of their connection to being Jewish, much more than the institution itself.


  • A larger clergy team would be more diverse, better able to serve the needs of all congregants
  • A unified clergy team, led by Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, would offer decades of experience and an emphasis on engaging younger generations


  • The Temple-Tifereth Israel offers a facility that would accommodate a unified membership.


  • A single religious school and early childhood program would be able to serve the collective membership.


  • A single, unified operation with one executive director would support the new entity.
  • Drawing on the strength of human capital from both organizations, we can better support our clergy team, enhance programming, engage deeper in our community and attract talent to a vibrant congregation


  • A single, unified Board and governance structure would serve the combined needs of the new entity.


  • Today, our organizations are both financially strong.
  • Together, our combined resources will help us achieve our innovative vision to build a more vibrant congregation, create more meaningful experiences and support Reform Judaism in Greater Cleveland for future generations.

Conversations with Clergy

Click here to learn more about these opportunities to gather with clergy from both synagogues in homes, at the synagogue or virtually, and to let us know how you would like to participate.

Kim Pesses from TTTI and Cindy Bruml from ACFT are coordinating this program. Many of our congregants have indicated interest in co-hosting and/or attending one of these gatherings. If you have not already done so, please register here.

Thank you to those of you who have already enrolled. We will keep these gatherings going as long as there is interest.

If you have any questions about this program please contact
Allison Shippy or Jeanne Tobin. If you have general questions about the merger please contact Beth Dery.

Imagining the Future

We hope you all saw this email where the clergy shared their dreams for a combined future. If you missed it or want to see it again, click here (https://ttti.org/potential-merger/). If you have any dreams you want to share or questions about the merger, please email Beth Dery at president@ttti.org.

We are also continuing the Living Room Conversations to get to know Rabbi Nosanchuk, Rabbi Caruso, Rabbi Muhlbaum and Cantor Lapin. The gatherings are great opportunities to learn about the Clergy and to meet other congregants.


Questions? Comments? Concerns? We want to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to email Temple President Beth Dery at president@ttti.org.


Thank you to our Task Force Members who continue to work tirelessly throughout this process!

  • Beth Dery
  • Michael Frayman
  • Bruce Goodman
  • Ken Hochman
  • Rabbi Roger Klein
  • Russ Klein
  • Ben Light
  • Jeanne Tobin