100 Years of Free Loans History (Download)

For the 110th anniversary of the Hebrew Free Loan of Cleveland, a historian pored through our past and created HFLA 100 Years (pdf).

This remarkable document begins with the history of Free Loans in the Jewish faith. It goes on to the founding of the HFLA in 1904 with $501 in donations. The mission: to lend a helping hand to help new immigrants get established. 

What was the purpose of these early loans? In 1909, it was as follows:

  • Peddling and huckstering – 288 loans
  • Renting/purchasing hoses and/or wagons – 86 loans
  • Supply stores or stands [pushcarts] – 119 loans
  • Start a business – 42 loans
  • Emigration purposes – 62 loans
  • Hire carpenter and/or painters – 42 loans
  • Tools for mechanics – 42 loans
  • Tuition for students – 43 loans
(Interesting fact: peddling meant selling door-to-door while huckstering meant conducting business directly from a horse-drawn wagon.)
The document goes on to trace the ebbs and flows of the organization for the rest of its first 100 years. Enjoy!