Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sam Gruber Burlington "Lost Shul Mural" Lectures now Online

My Burlington "Lost Shul Mural" Lectures now Online
by Samuel D. Gruber

After writing on this blog in August about the recently uncovered mural from the former Chai Adam Synagogue in Burlington, Vermont, I was invited to visit Burlington for a weekend in November and give a few talks about how I viewed the mural, and what I thought of its meaning and significance.   My two talks at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue were filmed, and with my permission the congregation has put them on youtube,and will incorporate them into their fund raising efforts to save this precious traditional Jewish artistic survivor. (Nov 9, 2013) (Nov 10, 2013)

I feel I packed in a lot in a lot about the mural and its artistic, religious and historical context in these talks, but there is much more that could be said, and I'll try to add some important points in the future.  Meanwhile - pull out the popcorn or fold the laundry - you can watch the talks here.  The first also recognizes Kristallnacht, and the awful events of 75 years ago.  It is more about the European context for the work, and the symbolism of the mural.  The second lecture includes much more contemporary American immigrant material.

As the calendar year comes to an end I urge you all to join me in making a tax-exempt donation to this project online via Paypal or by mail.   You can donate any amount with a few clicks here.


Unknown said...

I've just become active in a new Burlington, VT congregation that is meeting at the old Ohavi Zedek synagogue, the home of Congregation Ahavath Gerim. I've seen your reference to the venerable gothic structure in your blog entry on Ohavi Zedek.
Have you done more work on the old gothic structure that I just haven't found?
This new congregation wants to breathe new life into this historic structure and would appreciate your advice.
I love your much heralded work on the old mural now located in the entry to Ohavi Zedek awaiting additional restoration.
I look forward to hearing from you and thank you.
Gordon Jacobs

Samuel Gruber said...

Gordon, send me you email as a comment ... I will nto publish it, and then we can continue this conversation privately ....

I have spoken some on the architecture of the building - which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places - and have mentioned it passing in some writing, but hope to so more in the future, including on the Lost shul mural website.

I plan to drive up to Burlington in October, we could talk then. I think it is essential that the art, architecture and history of the original OZ, now Ahavath Gerim, and the Chai Adam mural be linked. together these two stops make a Burlington a destination for anyone interested in Jewish history and (folk/traditional) art. My friend Matthew Singer in Philadelphia has also written a bit on the buildings, linking it to other similar Livak immigrant shuls fo the time.

Sam Gruber