Honoring the Past – Enriching the Future
Temple Beth Israel was built in the 1950’s. The TBI Preservation Society was organized in 2009 by children and grandchildren of the founders to re-dedicate themselves to using their unique perspective as Holocaust survivors and children of survivors to inspire an interfaith approach to community building. Programming includes Progressive High Holidays’ services, a Multicultural Passover Seder, and school-based social justice education. The Danielson, CT building was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2013.
The Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society is a nonprofit, multi-cultural center committed to preserving the unique Jewish heritage of Northeastern Connecticut. It is housed in a historic building that was constructed to serve as a place of worship and built primarily by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and resistance fighters who settled on farms in the surrounding communities, along with local Jewish business people.
Our goal is to continue to serve as a Jewish house of worship welcoming all who seek to observe and celebrate Jewish ritual and traditions while honoring the founders of the Temple Beth Israel community and, in particular, that generation of immigrant Jewish farmers who spoke Yiddish, observed Jewish rituals and traditions, educated their children and celebrated their new American lives in this historic synagogue.
We seek to create an archive documenting the history of the community through books, letters, photographs, oral histories, and other historical artifacts that bear witness to the remarkable contributions of this particular Jewish community to life in Northeastern Connecticut and to collaborate with schools, colleges, cultural institutions and religious and civic organizations on creating valuable and unique learning opportunities.
We wish to honor the building’s founders by creating a setting in which to teach the lessons of the Holocaust by bringing awareness to human rights struggles around the world in order to educate, inspire, and identify the shared human values of people of all backgrounds and cultures. We also hope to enhance local cultural, educational and social life by serving as an interfaith resource for the community to celebrate the arts, local history and the region’s ethnically and culturally diverse communities.
This past year we were able to reach a new generation of young people and adults, sharing important lessons about the Holocaust. We are teaching school children and teens constructive ways to non-violently stand up against hate and intolerance in our society today. ...
At Temple Beth Israel, we draw on our proud history to fashion rituals that are authentic, progressive, meaningful and provocative. We welcome everyone. You need not be Jewish or read Hebrew. Just bring an open heart. We create a safe and supportive environment in...
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear friend and founder, Ray Gawendo. Ray died on Tuesday, April 3 in Norwich, Connecticut. She was 103 years old. Ray was a proud supporter and adviser of the Preservation Society. We will miss her. Ray...