From Ohio History Central
Abba Hillel Silver was a prominent Jewish and Lithuanian-American resident of Cleveland, Ohio during the twentieth century.
Silver was born on January 28, 1893, in Schirwindt, Lithuania. His original name was Abraham Silver, but he changed it to Abba Hillel Silver upon enrolling in college. In 1902, Silver's family emigrated from Lithuania to the United States of America and settled in New York, New York. In 1904, Silver helped establish the Herzl-Zion Club. This organization's primary purpose was to preserve the Hebrew language and customs and also to promote the creation of a Jewish state in Israel. Silver eventually enrolled at Hebrew Union College and the University of Cincinnati. Both of these institutions were located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Silver graduated from both colleges in 1915, and he became ordained as a Reform Jewish rabbi. In 1927, Silver earned a Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College.
In 1915, Silver became the rabbi of the Congregation Leshem Shomayim in Wheeling, West Virginia. He served in this capacity until 1917, when he became the rabbi to Temple-Tifereth Israel, which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. In this new position, Silver required the teaching of Hebrew in the temple's school. His temple boasted the largest Reform Jewish congregation in the United States by 1927.
While serving in Cleveland, Silver also continued his vocal support of Zionism