Friday, July 27, 2012

Field Trip Guide

Patrick with the Noble County Visitor's Bureau just emailed me asking for a revision of the short blurb description of the Ahavas Sholom building and Ligonier Historical Museum. This blurb will be part of a Field Trip Guide that is sent to area school groups. I think this is a great opportunity for kids to come into the synagogue and learn more about Jewish history! I came up with this and sent it to him:

The Ligonier Historical Museum is located in the synagogue building of the Jewish congregation, Ahavas Sholom. Built in 1889, the synagogue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and showcases beautiful stained glass windows depicting the life of King David. The museum displays artifacts from the Jewish community in Ligonier from 1850-1950. Here, students can learn more about Jewish history and faith.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Moveable Feast! Saturday, July 21, 3:30

I am excited to be attending the Moveable Feast in Ligonier and its surrounding neighborhoods this Saturday, July 21. The feast begins with a walking tour of Ligonier's Jewish sites at 3:30. We will have appetizers at the Ahavas Sholom synagogue building begininning at 4:30. The group can also grab a bite to eat before dinner at the Solomon Meir Mansion just down the street. Solomon Meir was one of the influential Jews in Ligonier during the late 1800s and helped build the economy of the city as well as the synagogue building itself. After this we will relocate for dinner at the 1839 Stone's Trace Historic Tavern. I haven't visited Stone's trace in about 25 years, so this will be a wonderful experience for me to see this amazing historic site as an adult. Dessert will be located at two sites: The 1879 Kimmel House Inn and the 1930 Luckey Hospital. While I've had lunch and tea several times at Kimmel House over the years, I've never had the chance to visit the Luckey Hospital. This hospital was run by my best friend's (Tina Luckey) ancestors. Tina came from a long line of incredible local doctors.

In preparation for the Moveable Feast, a few folks asked me for some ideas for recipes for the appetizers served at the Ahavas Sholom building. I was drawn to the 1901 "Settlement Cookbook." This cookbook was used by Jewish immigrants across the US and most definitely by those in Ligonier at the time. When sifting through the pages, I found recipes for noodle puddings, a variety of kuchens, hearty soups, and even instructions for how to buy and cook meat and fish. As an added bonus, the cookbook claims to be THE way to a man's heart!

I was surprised at how easy it was to reserve my tickets online for the event. I simply went to  made a few clicks! I purchased four tickets for my parents and fiance, you should hurry up and purchase yours!

Next steps

As you might know, I met with two architects at the synagogue building and they were both really helpful. Both replied to their initial survey of the building that it was in good shape from what they could tell. Therefore, I think we should move on to an inspector or individual professionals who can give us objective advice on the status of the windows, roof, brick work, foundation, HVAC, plumbing, and electric. If one individual cannot address all of these areas, finding someone to look at each category might take time. I'm assuming that a traditional inspector would be able to provide the status of the roof, brick work, foundation, HVAC, plumbing, and electric, but the windows we might want to consult a professional stained glass artisan.

I believe, with the current monies from the Landmarks Fund we can pay for the inspector. However, there is no "one" grant we can apply for to pull off the whole museum concept. We will have to apply for separate grants for each steps of the project. These steps may include: 1. Restore/stabilize exterior, 2. Restore stabilize interior, 3. organize and preserve collections (both Jewish and non-Jewish), 4. Set up temporary exhibit, 5. Plan permanent exhibit.

While this makes things a bit more complicated, it also makes the project a bit more digestible- tiny bites seem much more doable than applying for really competitive large sums of money.