Ohio Jewish Chronicle, 1992-12-03, page 01
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V - li-- M % i ■ i >; • t The Ohio Jewish Chronicle Serving Columbus and the Central QHio Jewish Community since 1922 VOLUME 70 NUMBER 50 DECEMBER 3, 1992 8 KISLEV 5753 DEVOTED TO AMERICAN AND JEWISH IDEALS ^^**BBa\\WaaWmaWa\\\\\\Wa^^ Slioval calls Arafat greatest obstacle in peace negotiations page 3 Oscar Goldsmith to celebrate Bar Mitzvah page 4 Torch Run to demonstrate solidarity with Israel page .14 150 pre-teens attend 'Shabbos with Rajbbi9 page 17 Volunteer ESL teachers — Why they keep at it page 18 Winter camps cure thildren's boredom page 18 In The Chronicle At The JCC .* ?. ;...,....„..,..;., 18 Bowling „..„.......'.....„.„...„..,....„....,...,....,.,. 11 , Calendar..,. ..„......r...^.............„........„.„ 4 A Community .......:.....„ 6-10 ■7-ia, vvrmv,mi*v»t ••..•■••-***'"'";4i«s*j*«4«s**...»...«.*-.w.'«»4y Zf£ ■ ' JfIiIJf iCWfiH J\ffQ .••••♦iN'«».t..»#i«rfiiM.#.t..»......»»»),♦..«.*« 4 "" ^ITWW* "A^fl a..........»..*»»*M*.M*»t.9*?..«»....«..*««.*«. £} 3 ''^JMlfC^yClf) .i*M..#.«.,..»*.«.*#*.».«*..VM*w..li4.».$,t»*.>..«,*. Am "j, MWflMtpiSC* «............a.tt.<w.««M«1l..«.i><.<.«>T>«>><>. 19 iNffw Gisaeration ...,..;„...,...„.»„.*„.„ 10, 17 y.ScvP&awrt ,„.....,.. ,..,,..,.,.„^..,„,,.,„„' 11 . Viewpoint ,.„.,..„,..,......i>,......,.„.*..,....,.1,.,..i*, 5 '■SCA- /'■<-.' * - -' '.-.- . '"• . ■'■ ' *• ' * / MaWBBtNKKaWNB'W'W^ COMMUNITY FEATURE Tours long-standing tradition at Temple Israel By Ina Horwitz It was a Friday night at Temple Israel. A group gathered in the small chapel and admired the stained glass windows, imported from Belgium that came from the original Bryden Road Temple (circa 1903). Someone asked about the significance of the Ner Tamed (Eternal Light). They then proceeded into the main sanctuary where questions about the Torah and its adornments, such as breastplate, were raised. In the gift shop, the children in the group particularly liked the pieces of Judaica, some buying dreidels. The group also visited the library, the classrooms and later attended Friday night services, stopping on the way to see the Holocaust Torah (one of 1564 that survived) displayed in a case in the main lobby. This is a familiar scene at Temple Israel throughout the year and has been so throughout the decades. Since 1961, congregant Sylvia Dillon, who came to Columbus from New Jersey with her husband Lee, now a retired electrical engineer, has led tours of the synagogue for visiting secular orga- nizations and Christian groups, among them — the Childhood League, churches of all denominations, Lutheran seminary students and Catholics studying for the priesthood. Dillon said that secular groups or clubs will put the Temple event on their schedule, and it becomes their meeting of the month. Spiritual leader of the congregation, Rabbi Bradley Bleefeld,. said that several dozen groups come every year, addingup to more than 2,000 people a year. Many thousands have toured, not only since the present temple was dedicated in 1959, but for years before that at the Bryden Road site, especially to see the stained glass windows. "We're the only synagogue in the area that consistently 'encourages visiting groups to attend our services," said Rabbi Bleefeld. "This gives them the opportunity to observe how we observe our faith. We do this as a mitzvah for our neighbors to gain a better understanding of who and what we (Jews) are." Dillon believes the tours became so popular because when the Temple was built, it was considered an archaeological work of art, winning awards for its design. Different organizations and churches heard about its beauty and called the Temple office to ask to see for themselves. Word got around, and it's been like that ever since, she said. At times there have been a number of tour guides. Currently, Dillon and another congregant, Kurt Spiegler, act as guides. Dillon recently recalled how a church group from the Mt. Victory Methodist .Church in Mt. Victory, Ohio, travelled two hours each way to come to the tour. Dillon said the tour lasts about 45 minutes, culminating with the group attending services at 8 p.m. She will talk about the Old Testament. "For Christians studying the Old Testament, they can learn a lot," she added. Many, knowing little about the Jewish faith, ask about christenings and where the baptismal font is located. She's even had a small child say, "I've never seen a Jewish person before, and I didn't know what one looked like." Dillon said she has answered, "You don't realize any difference, because we're like everybody else and look like everybody else." In her many years as tour guide, she hasn't had particularly unusual questions asked of her. She said they are mostly of a general nature and often deal with the Jewish holidays. Some have asked, "What if you're sick? Do you have to fast on Yom Kippur?" She assures them that sickpeople are not required to fast. She thinks her most unusual question was one asking if the synagogue had a mikva or ritual bath. She also gets asked frequently how a group should dress to attend services. Some men and boys want to know if they need to wear yarmulkes and choose to do so, even though it is not necessary. About a year ago, some Catholic seminary students visited before Passover and decided they would conduct their own seder, complete with the Haggadah and matzah. All groups seem pleased with the tours, for many come back time and time again, bringing different church members, said Dillon. Children will accompany their families or come by themselves in a group. * "I know they all leave glad they came," Dillon added. "We always get many nice letters of appreciation." Why had Dillon done this all these years? In addition to always taking an active role in the Temple and being an observant member of Friday night services, she calls her tour guiding "a labor of love: good P.R. and because it's my synagogue." Until the tour guide volunteer base increases, Temple Israel can continue to count on Dillon. In the past month, she conducted three tours and already has one booked for January. "Our tours are one important step to show how we take very seriously the mandate of our people to be Ohr Lagoyim — a light to the nations," said Rabbi Bleefeld. Ina Horwitz is a local freelance writer and frequent OJC contributor.
|Title||Ohio Jewish Chronicle, 1992-12-03|
|Subject||Jews -- Ohio -- Periodicals|
|Place||Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)|
|Creator||Ohio Jewish Chronicle|
|Collection||Ohio Jewish Chronicle|
|Submitting Institution||Columbus Jewish Historical Society|
|Rights||This item may have copyright restrictions. Online access is provided for research purposes only. For rights and reproduction requests or more information, go to http://www.ohiohistory.org/images/information|
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