A glimpse into the past and planning for the future….my thoughts for today. I’m excited to announce that we have accepted the South Carolina Jewish Historical Society’s invitation to host its fall meeting. It will be held the weekend of October 18th. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the Spartanburg Jewish merchants who have had such an important influence in the community.
In planning for the event, several of us visited the old Temple located downtown. For me it was a first time experience. For others it was an opportunity to reminisce about the past. Dot Frank shared her memories of the day she was converted and married in the Temple. She remembers frying chicken in the basement. Ben Stauber reflected on his life as a Rabbi’s son, spending many days and nights in the Temple. He remembered with fondness some of the sermons his father delivered from the pulpit. Andy Poliakoff smiled and chuckled about his childhood memories. He pointed to the pew his family would often occupy. They told me the building “feels” and smells the same. The beautiful pews are adorned with a star of David.
Yes, there are some changes. It has aged and shows signs of the aging process. The building is currently occupied by an African American Protestant congregation. We met with the Minister who shared many beau- tiful stories about his congregation. He told us he feels “the grace of G-d upon entering the building”.
For me, it was truly an enjoyable and uplifting experience.
When the Historical Society convenes in Spartanburg this fall, they hope to have one of the events in the old building. They also look forward to meeting with us at our current location. I’m proud to share our beautiful building with other Jews from throughout South Caroli- na who will be visiting. More importantly, I’m happy others will experience the warm and welcoming con- gregation of Temple B’nai Israel whom I have come to love.
It will be a time to celebrate the past and make new memories!
By the way, Abner, my basset hound, is on the road to recovery. He can get up on all fours and the veterinarian expects him to be walking unassisted within the next couple of weeks!
Warmest regards, Sandy