Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. I, Nos. 3-4 / Winter 1997-98
A radio piece on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty addressed the problems faced by Jewish sites in Eastern Europe today. The article, which refers to the activities of ISJM and other organizations, can be read on the internet at www.rferl.org/.
A July 18, 1997, article by Helen Epstein in The Forward profiled Czech researcher Jiri Fiedler, now curator of documentation at the Prague Jewish Museum. For years, Fiedler (who is not Jewish) has served as a one-man encyclopedia of Czech Jewish sites. In recent years he has won widespread recognition for his indefatigable efforts to document and conserve Czech Jewish monuments. For years, Fiedler made himself available to researchers, trying to answer every inquiry. Now, he no longer has the time to write to strangers. Epstein quotes a recent letter: "It's no longer a question of minutes, it's a question of seconds. I'll never be able to answer the dozens of letters I receive with the necessary care."
The June 30-July 6, 1997 issue of the Warsaw Business Journal carried a long article entitled "Rebuilding Roots" on the redevelopment of Prozna Street in Warsaw (see JHR March, 1997). A similar story by Christopher Bobinski ran in the Financial Times on September 27-28, 1997.
In The New York Times (July 29, 1997), Andree Brooks reported on the conference held at Brown University called "The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West," organized by the John Carter Brown Library and the Touro National Heritage Trust, an affiliate of the Touro Synagogue in Newport. Scholars from Brasil, Mexico, Holland, and the U.S. made the case for a much more significant Jewish presence in the New World during the 17th and 18th centuries than generally assumed. The article was illustrated by photos of the ruins of the Beraka ve Shalom Synagogue in Suriname and the Jewish cemetery.
The New York Times Travel Section of September 14, 1997, featured an article by Jane Perlez about Jewish Cracow, highlighting current restoration efforts. The article featured a photo of the restored facade of the 19th-century Tempel synagogue, a project of the World Monuments Fund. The Times also featured an article on the synagogues of Turkey by ISJM member Joel Zack in its Design Notebook section of October 9, 1997. The article included five fine color pictures by Devon Jarvis, who accompanied Zack on his recent research expedition.
ISJM President Samuel Gruber was the subject of a feature article in the Syracuse Herald American (December 28, 1997) which subsequently was distributed by the Religious News Service. The article can be found on the internet at www.rferl.org/nca/features/1997/05/F.RU.97051280156.html
The March/April 1998 issue of Preservation: The Magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation featured the cover story by Marc Leepson, "Monticello's Untold story: How One Jewish family saved Jefferson's beloved house...twice." The article tells the story of Levy family which owned Thomas Jefferson's Virginia plantation house and grounds for nearly a century, and restored it and maintained it. The article makes the case the Monticello is a monuments to the Levys, too, and the neglect their story has suffered during the last half century is only now being rectified.
JHR Readers are encouraged to send all articles (in any language) which refer to Jewish monuments to the editor.
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