Monday, August 3, 2009

USA: Boston's Vilna Shul Wins Prestigious Grant

USA: Boston's Vilna Shul Wins Prestigious Grant
by Samuel D. Gruber

(ISJM) Partners in Preservation is a recent initiative begun by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express in Boston which this year has offered $1 million for ten local preservation projects. The project is unique in that it allows for on-line voting to determine which sites out of all those nominated will receive funds. After all the votes were tallied last spring, The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture – the only Jewish site nominated, was shown to have come in seventh and in June it was announced that the Vilna Shul would receive a $90,800 grant. The funds will be used to uncover murals hidden since the 1940s in the historic synagogue's women's gallery.

The Vilna Shul is the first Jewish structure to be included in the Partners in Preservation program. The historic building and exhibits will remain open throughout this phase of the restoration project, which must be completed by December 2010.

The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, is the name adopted last year for the former Vilna Center for Jewish Heritage, Inc., created in the early 1990s when the small Beacon Hill synagogue was saved from demolition after it closing. Along with a new name,. the organization has new goals, and a new mission statement, and has developed a five-year plan to restore the Vilna Shul to its original appearance and to revitalize the building as a center of Jewish culture. Their new mission statement reads: “The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, preserves the historic Vilna Shul on Beacon Hill as a unique Jewish community venue and resource. It presents educational and cultural programs and exhibits that explore the Jewish experience of Boston.” The Partners in Preservation grant is an important step in the restoration process.

2 comments:

The Vilna Shul said...
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The Vilna Shul said...

Thanks for the post and thanks for your support oh so many years ago when you helped keep the building from being turned into a parking lot. Hope you will be able to visit us one day soon. Steven Greenberg