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STEP 2 - JRF Salutes Legacy Book - Congregational Information Form
STEP 2 - JRF Salutes Legacy Book - Congregational Information Form
Submitted by Anonymous
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 5:16pm
Congregation's Official Name:
What is the name of the city in which this congregation is located?
In which state or province is your congregation located?
What is your name?
Year of Founding:
In what year was your congregation founded?
President - Jackie Kling Executive Vice President - Dan Lowery Programming Vice President - Irv Wartell Financial Secretary - Arlene Gottlieb Treasurer - Bill Schwartz Recording Secretary - Janet Davis Immediate Past President - Steve Mirsky
Please name your congregation's current officers and their positions.
About Your Community:
Mishkan Torah.....by Ellen Rubin A simple question asked of Ethel Morganstein, a Greenbelt, Maryland resident in the late 1930’s, planted the seed from which Mishkan Torah ultimately grew. When she went to pay her rent to the rental manager, he pointed out that various Christian denominations had established churches and asked why no Jewish congregation had yet been formed in Greenbelt – the first planned community in the United States. Motivated by the rental manager’s query, Ms. Morganstein obtained the names and addresses of Jewish families and went door to door to invite them to an organizational meeting at her home. At that meeting, the Greenbelt Hebrew Congregation was born. Regular Friday night services were held in the music room of the Center School in Greenbelt, and the first High Holy Day services were held in the fire house, with a chorus, led by Harry Fleisher, enhancing the services. A Torah was borrowed from the Washington Hebrew Congregation as were the prayer books. Years later, congregant Marlene Mollerick learned that a British synagogue had custody of twelve hundred Torahs from Czechoslovakia, which had been saved by British troops from Nazi destruction. They were available on permanent loan to worthy synagogues. She promptly applied for a Torah on Mishkan Torah’s behalf and was told that Mishkan Torah had qualified. The existing ark was re-designed by Joe Dalis to house Mishkan Torah’s permanent loan. Eventually the Greenbelt Hebrew Congregation merged with the newly established Jewish Community Center of Prince George’s County. Its mission was mainly focused on social activities and having a community center for Jews although there were some religious aspects as well. Shortly after the Jewish Community Center of Prince George’s County’s founding, Rabbi Morris A. Sandhaus who had worked for nine years with a Jewish congregation in Yonkers, N.Y., was hired to lead the congregation. On February 13, 1943, the JCC celebrated Greenbelt’s first Bar Mitzvah. In 1949, the JCC acquired a tract of 0.79 acres from the federal government, which cost $1,000. Once this purchase was made, the dream of a new building was on its way to becoming a reality. In an 1995 essay commemorating Mishkan Torah’s 40th anniversary, a congregant recalls, “I remember a gentile watching us lay bricks. He went back to his boss, a Mr. Brown of the Aldon Construction Company, and told him, ‘Some crazy Jewish amateurs are trying to build a church in Greenbelt and are doing a terrible job of it.’ He continues, “One Sunday, Mr. Brown came out with all of his bricklayers and helped put up all the corners of the building, which gave us a marvelous start.” Many synagogue members worked steadily on the building for over three years. On March 20, 1955 the new building was dedicated, with appropriate ceremonies and celebration. The Jewish Community Center of PG County continued to grow and, although it is still officially incorporated as the JCC of PG County, in 1968 the membership decided to begin using the name Mishkan Torah. The decision stemmed from the fact that it was becoming more of a house of worship yet still retaining its original purpose as a community center for Jews. In 1969 a ground breaking ceremony was held for the addition of the Karp Family Hebrew School. Men and women have participated equally in all facets of synagogue life since 1973 when Mishkan Torah became affiliated with both the Conservative and Reconstructionist Movements. Following the tenure of Rabbi Maurice Weinberg from 1966 – 1973, Rabbi Kennth Berger, of blessed memory, was hired from the first graduating class of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Mishkan Torah has had three Rabbis since the tragic death of Rabbi Berger in a plane crash - Rabbi Steven Bayar (1982 - ), Rabbi Saul Grife ( ) and our current Rabbi, Jonathan Cohen. Our Cantor, Phil Greenfield, has been with us for over 30 years. Though many years have passed, and the world has changed since the 1955 dedication, much of the world of Mishkan Torah has remained the same. In the 21st century, Mishkan Torah’s members mirror their predecessors in bringing their devotion, do-it-yourself energy, individual talents, and financial support to a shul that is known for its warmth and sense of family. Now as then, Mishkan Torah has demonstrated its ability to survive and flourish, no matter what odds or challenges are placed in its way. The content of this essay is a compilation of 40th anniversary essays written by the following contributors: Abe Chasnoff, David Stern, David Spevack, Ethel and Ben Rosenzweig, and Joe Dalis
Please provide a paragraph or so about your community. Who's a part of it? What sets your congregation apart?
Now, please give us some information about your photos
In the boxes below, please type the name of each Photo, using the naming instructions from the e-mail. File naming instructions: Congregation Name.State.Category.(#).jpg For instance, if Congregation Beit Tikvah in Maryland has a picture that represents Tikkun Olam, it should look like this: CongregationBeitTikvah.MD.TikkunOlam.jpg If Congregation Beit Tikvah in Maryland has 2 pictures that represent Tikkun Olam, they should add a number after the Category to let us know which picture of Tikkun Olam we are seeing. It should look like this: CongregationBeitTikvah.MD.TikkunOlam.1.jpg. Please also give us the caption that should go along with each photo.
Photo 1 Name:
Photo 1 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 1.
Photo 2 Name:
Photo 2 Caption:
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Photo 3 Name:
Photo 3 Caption:
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Photo 4 Name:
Photo 4 Caption:
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Photo 5 Name:
Photo 5 Caption:
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Photo 6 Name:
Photo 6 Caption:
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Photo 7 Name:
Photo 7 Caption:
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Photo 8 Name:
Photo 8 Caption:
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Photo 9 Name:
Photo 9 Caption:
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Photo 10 Name:
Photo 10 Caption:
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