70. March – June 2020
L’Dor VaDor – From Generation to Generation – Our Families
From Door to Door – The Buildings of Keneseth Israel (KI)
150 Years – 1847 – 1997
From the Collection of the KI Archives
“KI has been the connecting force for generations of our family, and so many families like mine, whose parents, children, grandchildren have worshipped, learned, and loved in the KI community.”
Norma Meshkov~Exhibition Guest Curator & Chair, Friends of the Temple Judea Museum
The title of this exhibition is a play on words.
L’DOR VADOR – FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
FROM DOOR TO DOOR – KI’S HOMES ACROSS GENERATIONS: 1847 – 1997
This cumbersome but apt title came to us late in the process of building the exhibition narrative. To explain, in 2019 we exhibited a large portion of the TJM photography collection, most of it Press Photographs about Jewish life and events purchased on Ebay and assembled into a coherent and important collection. After the success of that exhibition we decided to turn inward and look at the KI Archives and the photographs of our own KI community stored there. There was a vast treasure waiting for me and for Norma Meshkov, who graciously agreed to become the exhibition’s guest curator. Norma brings a long family history at KI to this project. That history has added much depth to the selected photographs and the story we tell.
Here is Norma’s story of why she chose L’Dor VaDor as part of our title:
“Rita and I were searching through KI archival photos to best tell the story of our congregation, past and present. We pored through pictures of clergy, family, buildings and construction sites, community events and congregants through the centuries and decades.
As we opened the folders that revealed photos of the more recent past, I began recognizing events and faces from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Suddenly I came upon a photo of the Gourmet Booth at the Sisterhood Antiques Fair. Posing front and center was my mother and my then eight-year-old daughter Karen who “worked” the booth with her grandmom every year. Unexpectedly, tears sprung to my eyes. Such strong memories! My mother has been gone since 1996, my daughter is now a grown woman with a 4-year-old who loved preschool here. At that moment the phrase L’Dor VaDor popped into my mind.
From Generation to Generation KI has been the connecting force for generations of our family, and so many families like mine, whose parents, children, grandchildren have worshipped, learned, and loved in the KI community.”
Once Norma explained her vision to me, I immediately saw another aspect of our story: the architecture that has facilitated and housed the KI community. From Door to Door – from the urban site of our Broad and Columbia building to the suburban campus that has been our home since 1959. It made sense to build this exhibition around the families, the lay and professional leaders, the events and the visitors as well as around the buildings that were and are our homes from 1847 to 1997.
Thanks are due to Jack Myers and Claire Schweriner of the KI Archives who patiently and professionally worked with us to make this look back at 150 years of KI community history possible. Now we must start planning for the next exhibition – from 1997 and forward.
Rita Rosen Poley, Director/Curator