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At Central Synagogue

A Look at Our History: High Holy Days

Posted September 10, 2015

A Look at Our History: High Holy Days

As fall approaches we think about preparing to celebrate Judaism’s highest holy days and taking note that the services and holidays are for all ages and levels of engagement all year long.

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A Look at Our History: Visitor’s Book

Posted May 26, 2015

A Look at Our History: Visitor’s Book

We host visitors from all over the world, some are Jewish, many not; some are simply sightseeing; all are moved by their visit and by Central’s congregational history.

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A Look at Our History: First Female President

Posted April 8, 2015

A Look at Our History: First Female President

Mildred Ross, Temple President, 1985-89

Thirty years ago, Mildred Ross made Central Synagogue history by being elected its first female president, from 1985 to 1989.

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A Look at Our History: A Letter from the White House, 1946

Posted January 14, 2015

A Look at Our History: A Letter from the White House, 1946

A letter from President Harry S. Truman in 1946 appears in the Central Synagogue bulletin.

In 1946 President Harry S. Truman sent a letter to our Rabbi Jonah B. Wise at the time of Central's 100th anniversary praising our efforts to assist Europe's World War II displaced persons. A world situation where "tyranny extinguishes the freedom of one it extinguishes the freedom of all" (quoting from the letter) is very much on the current national agenda. It is good to know that Central's past concern for the peoples of the world is still one of our great concerns, and that we remain in the awareness of the White House.

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A Look at Our History: Shabbat Services

Posted December 18, 2014

A Look at Our History: Shabbat Services

1915 Board minutes re Friday evening services.

We are so used to the comforting view of our Friday evening Shabbat Service being nearly full to capacity weekly, it is hard to think of this service as an innovation at Central Synagogue. Nearly 100 years ago, the idea of celebrating Shabbat’s arrival with a synagogue service on Friday evening was just a thought, duly noted in the October 6, 1915 Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees. As most people would go home on Friday evening to Shabbat dinner with family and friends, then come to synagogue on Saturday morning for a formal Shabbat service, the change was something to be further considered.

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A Look at Our History: Sukkot

Posted November 14, 2014

A Look at Our History: Sukkot

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman and Cantor Richard Botton shake the lulav.

The seasonal pleasures of enjoying the aroma of the etrog (citrus fruit) and lulav bouquet in a sukkah are one of the special holiday memories of many Jews.

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman and Cantor Richard Botton bring this experience to all of us in a photo from about 35 years ago.

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A Look at Our History: Arks of Central Synagogue

Posted October 29, 2014

A Look at Our History: Arks of Central Synagogue

Central Synagogue has various arks in which to keep its many Torahs.

There are two arks in the main Sanctuary Building (consecrated in 1872): one in the main sanctuary and one in the Pavilion on the lower level, and there are three are in the Community House (consecrated in 1966): Beir Chapel on the lower level, the Peter J. Rubinstein Chapel, Mona Glickman Ark, on the 5th floor, and Room 903 (Meeting Room).

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A Look at Our History: Plant Motifs

Posted June 16, 2014

A Look at Our History: Plant Motifs

Chapel mosaic 1132, Capella Palantina, Sicily

This mosaic border is in the Royal Chapel (Capella Palantina) of the Kingdom of Sicily, built in 1132.

Plant motifs have been used to represent life and seasonal awareness since very early times.

At Central Synagogue, this same motif encircle the tops of the two towers of our synagogue building. They call attention to the continuum of life and our congregation.

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A Look at Our History: Confirmation 1992

Posted May 5, 2014

A Look at Our History: Confirmation 1992

Confirmation Class, May 1992

1992 was the first confirmation class over which Rabbi Peter Rubinstein presided. They are photographed in front of the open ark, a background often used for confirmation class photos. Rabbi Rubinstein is in the center next to Cantor Richard Botton. To the left is Associate Rabbi Tom Weiner and to the far right is Director of Education Jack Sparks. The size of the group is small compared to today’s classes which often reach 30 students. Read more

A Look at Our History: Making Matzah

Posted April 2, 2014

A Look at Our History: Making Matzah

Concern to have adequate matzah for all to properly celebrate Passover has been of interest to our congregation since the 1850s. Central’s Religious School students have participated in making matzah from time to time.

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