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January 12, 1990 - Image 65

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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F

PASSOVER 1990

AT THE

Diplomat

RESORT AND COUNTRY CLUB
HOLLYWOOD, FLA.

El 3 HSO N 11V1 9

Savannah, and by 19874 the
congregation had outgrown
the synagogue on Liberty
Street and Perry Lane. A
bronze plaque at Liberty and
Whitaker Streets com-
memorates the historic
building.
The cornerstone for its
replacement, the landmark
Temple Mickve Israel in use
today, was laid on March 1,
1876 , and the building was
consecrated on April 11,
1878. The only Gothic Revival
synagogue in the United
States, the beige stone struc-
ture at 20 East Gordon Street
stands prominently in Savan-
nah's two-and-a-half-mile-
square National Historic
Landmark District. Bordered
by plametto trees and flower-
ing azalea bushes, the
synagogue looks out on an-
cient white oak trees heavy
with Spanish moss in
Monterey Square. Its tall
spire is set against the Savan-
nah sky.
The interior with vaulted
ceiling, pale yellow walls and
highly polished woods gives
off a warmth that is enhanc-
ed by sunlight streaming
through the stained-glass
windows depicting Jewish
themes and symbols. The Ho-
ly Ark of colorless, semi-
opaque glass contains four
Torahs in gold velvet mantles.
From one hangs a silver
pointer donated by Dr. de la
Motta during his presdiency
in 1820. The silver pipes of a
large organ dominate the
choir loft in the rear of the
sanctuary.
Mickve Israel is a stop on
organized city tours, and in-
dependent travelers are also
welcome. Not to be missed by
Jewish visitors is the
museum in the adjacent
Mordecai Sheftall Mem-
morial Building. An advance
call is advised to assure a
visit to this treasure trove of
Jewish-American history,
which has in its collection the
two oldest Torah scrolls in
North America, the 1733 cir-
cumcision set, and the
chanukkiah and prayerbooks
sent from London in 1737:
Copies of letters to the con-
gregation from George
Washington (assuring the
Jews religious freedom in the
new nation), Thomas Jeffer-
son, and James Madison also
hang in the museum.
Orthodox,
Originally
Mickve Israel had adopted
practices of the Reform move-
ment by the time its first
building was constructed —
an organ was played there on

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APRIL 9 - APRIL 17 1990

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