Community

The Torah scroll at the Holocaust Education and Resource Center of R.I., donated by  Dr. Richard and Lynn Glick honors the Czech victims who saved it but lost their lives. /HERCRIDuring World War II, the Nazis permitted Prague’s Jews to sort, classify and catalog the Jewish Museum’s Torah scrolls, which were part of a collection that contained numerous ceremonial objects. Sadly, before they could finish the task, the Jews were deported to death camps, where all but two died. Unlike the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the Torah scrolls survived.

Moved from the (renamed) State Jewish Museum to Michele Synagogue, they remained there in danger of perishing akin to their prior caretakers. In order to maintain proper form, the scrolls must be rolled on a regular basis. Since that’s not easy to do with more than 1,500 Torahs, something had to be invented to save them from decay.

The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) ensures  the well-being of vulnerable Jews in Ukraine. /JDCAs we have all witnessed in the past two weeks, following the annexation of the Crimea, pro-Russian protests and activities has intensified in the eastern parts of Ukraine. Pro-Russian activists stormed and captured district and municipal administration buildings and state security offices. The Jewish population is also concerned by increasing number of incidents which have anti-Semitic language and appearance, where some of the incidents are bringing back the memories of past times of terror and persecution.

 

altThe internet and social media have redefined our lives in many ways over the past few years. One of the great innovations to arise from these technologies is the process of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding websites, like the popular Kickstarter.com and Indiegogo.com, feature individual projects looking to raise enough money to meet a predefined goal. Crowdfunding thrives on transparency and engagement by explaining to the funder how and why the listed project exists without requiring any minimum donation or giving to the organization. Instead, every funder–large and small–has the opportunity to support a specific cause and can learn about the team they’re supporting to produce their project.

 

The temple’s outside foyer includes figurative mosaics by Walter Feldman. /Judy MoseleyWhen dedicated 60 years ago, Temple Beth-El was one of the first examples of modern synagogue architecture in New England. Lovingly preserved, it remains one of the finest.

During the early 1940s when planning began for the congregation’s third home, on Orchard Avenue, clergy and lay leaders were unsure whether to seek a traditional or more adventurous design. Rabbi William G. Braude led an extensive search for both an appropriate style and an architect, which, with board approval, culminated in 1947 with the selection of Percival Goodman. A professor of architecture at Columbia University, he had recent synagogue-building experience and was eager for a similar commission (despite the fact that he was never an observant Jew).

RI delegates are (left to right): Candace Powning, Makenna Kobrin, Miriam Heath, Nili Levine, Alexis Kutenplon–Rayess, Ben Harpel, Julie Penn, Kevin Sock and Ariel Warren (from Sharon, Mass.). Not present: Jesse Brenman. /Matan GraffOn April 28, thousands of Jewish teens, from 40 countries around the world, will share in a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they march 4.8 miles from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built by the Nazis during World War II. The greater Rhode Island community is sending nine teenagers on this trip. The New England delegation includes 41 people from Rhode Island, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Boston. Survivor Siegmund Listwa, accompanied by his son and nephew, will be going on his second March of the Living trip prepared to educate and join in with the teens as they march to the camp where he once lived.