Indiana Jewish Historical Society

Indiana Jewish Historical Society The Indiana Jewish Historical Society collects, preserves, publishes and shares the history of the Jewish experience in Indiana.
The Indiana Jewish Historical Society is a non-profit organization. All dues and contributions are tax deductible.
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Since before Indiana even became a state, Jewish settlers were among the first on the frontier, trading and peddling clothing and housewares with Native Americans and settlers. As more Jews migrated west, they settled in Indiana and created the necessary religious institutions to function as a community, established businesses, and helped the community-at-large. For nearly 200 years, Jews living in Indiana have created vibrant communities that have contributed to the history of our state. In 1972, the IJHS was organized to collect, preserve and disseminate the story of this heritage.

Mission: The mission of the Indiana Jewish Historical Society is to collect, preserve, publish and share the history of the Jewish experience in Indiana.

A quick update on the Temple in Ligonier: Temporary transfer to Indiana Landmarks for needed repairs. Soon to lower sale...
11/24/2019
Ligonier jewish temple to temporarily transfer to Indiana Landmarks

A quick update on the Temple in Ligonier: Temporary transfer to Indiana Landmarks for needed repairs. Soon to lower sale price of the 1889 Temple to ~$10k. đź•Ť

LIGONIER — If you had plans to buy the jewish temple in Ligonier, you’re out of luck. At least, for now.

Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society
11/21/2019

Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society

If you're interested in pursuing your Jewish family history, consider joining NEIJGS today! We are offering a special members-only workshop in January to those who join by December 31st. Just click our "Sign Up" button to get started.

Indiana Jewish Historical Society's cover photo
10/31/2019

Indiana Jewish Historical Society's cover photo

A 2018 Hoosier Jewish Legend and a man committed to the history of Indiana's Jewish communities has passed. David Piser ...
10/24/2019
Michiana Jewish Historical Society

A 2018 Hoosier Jewish Legend and a man committed to the history of Indiana's Jewish communities has passed. David Piser has left behind a lasting legacy and will be missed. May his memory be for many, many blessings.

We mourn the loss of our friend and co-founder of the Michiana Jewish Historical Society, David Piser. May his memory forever be for a blessing. Please click the link for our tribute to David.

Sheila Greenwald and Jill Weiss Simins researching Purdue University Hillel for the IJHS journal. By comparing documents...
10/22/2019

Sheila Greenwald and Jill Weiss Simins researching Purdue University Hillel for the IJHS journal. By comparing documents from our collections at the Indiana Historical Society with articles from the Jewish Post & Opinion newspaper accessed through Hoosier State Chronicles, they found a much earlier founding date for the Purdue Hillel than previously reported. Stay tuned to learn more! Indiana Historical Bureau Jewish Federation of Greater Lafayette - Indiana

#IndianaSynagogues stop 20 is the 1952 Sinai Temple of Michigan City Take a look at the superb stone and inlay (possibly...
10/18/2019

#IndianaSynagogues stop 20 is the 1952 Sinai Temple of Michigan City Take a look at the superb stone and inlay (possibly terrazzo?) work throughout the synagogue. Is this a wall of red granite? Also, in the social hall, the finishes are extravagant with recently restored wood paneling (likely stained plane/sycamore?). Thank you to Carolyn Berkowitz for the tour! Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley Michiana Jewish Historical Society

Stop 19 of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1930 Sinai Temple in Michigan City, Indiana. Or is it? Was this a purpose-built syn...
10/03/2019

Stop 19 of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1930 Sinai Temple in Michigan City, Indiana. Or is it? Was this a purpose-built synagogue? Members of Sinai Temple of Michigan City and the website state the congregation was founded in 1913 and met in a rented hall first. The INDNR Jewish Heritage project states that the 1930s location was a former church (i.e. not built to be a synagogue). Our publication, IJH 2004 p. 23, states that "Sinai Temple was dedicated on Pine Street in 1930" (but was it built and dedicated, or was it a church that was rededicated?). LaPorte County auditor's website states that this building at 1411 Pine was built in 1930 (this would mean it was built to be Sinai Temple!). This mystery is currently unsolved, if you have additional sources, please post them here! Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley

Stop 18 (chai!) is the 1949 Temple Beth-El in South Bend. One of my favorite #IndianaSynagogues to date, sun comes in fr...
09/24/2019

Stop 18 (chai!) is the 1949 Temple Beth-El in South Bend. One of my favorite #IndianaSynagogues to date, sun comes in from above and the bima (front platform) and ark (Torah cabinet) can MOVE backwards on a track to expand the sanctuary. (Typically, mid-century synagogues have movable walls in the back which open to expand into a social hall). Thank you to Marzy Bauer for the tour. Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Michiana Jewish Historical Society The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley

UPDATE: The former building of B'nai Jacob of Fort Wayne (from our #IndianaSynagogues post on July 2) has been deconsecr...
09/17/2019

UPDATE: The former building of B'nai Jacob of Fort Wayne (from our #IndianaSynagogues post on July 2) has been deconsecrated. Many of the interior elements were moved to Congregation Achduth Vesholom. Interesting to compare before and after images. https://www.facebook.com/IndianaJHS/posts/1274465039386966

We said good-bye Saturday night to the former Congregation B'nai Jacob building during a Deconsecration Ceremony led by Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig.

As our Jewish community comes together as one congregation, we honored and remembered the special times of worship, celebration, and learning that took place over the years at 7227 Bittersweet Moors Drive during the time it served as a synagogue from August 1993 through August 2019.

Just in time for shabbat! Stop 17 is the 1949 Sinai Synagogue in South Bend. Yes, these photos are all from the same syn...
09/13/2019

Just in time for shabbat! Stop 17 is the 1949 Sinai Synagogue in South Bend. Yes, these photos are all from the same synagogue! Take a look at the different architectural styles and materials (encapsulated by the first/entrance photo) and the wonderful stained glass. Thanks to Rabbi Friedland for showing me around. The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Michiana Jewish Historical Society #IndianaSynagogues

And... we're back! Stop 16 of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1901 Sons of Israel in South Bend, Indiana now the South Bend Cu...
09/05/2019

And... we're back! Stop 16 of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1901 Sons of Israel in South Bend, Indiana now the South Bend Cubs team store. Owner Andrew Berlin has taken wonderful care of this neighborhood gem as it's in great shape inside and out. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places - NPS The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Michiana Jewish Historical Society

This past Sunday the IJHS gathered to honor our newest group of Hoosier Jewish Legends: Linda Cohen, West Lafayette; Car...
08/30/2019

This past Sunday the IJHS gathered to honor our newest group of Hoosier Jewish Legends: Linda Cohen, West Lafayette; Carolyn Leeds, Indianapolis; Joseph Levine, Fort Wayne (z”l of blessed memory); John Planer, North Manchester; and Betty Stein, Fort Wayne (z”l of blessed memory). Mazel tov to these 2019 Legends and their friends and families.

For stop 15 of #IndianaSynagogues we'll stay in South Bend. The 1971 building of Hebrew Orthodox is located on a large c...
08/14/2019

For stop 15 of #IndianaSynagogues we'll stay in South Bend. The 1971 building of Hebrew Orthodox is located on a large campus and boasts expansive facilities with a mikveh (ritual bath) operating on site. Take a look at the hand-written listings: the first is of the deceased members of the congregation and the second lists students of the Torah. What beautiful documents near to the sanctuary which is purposefully set up for prayer AND study. Michiana Jewish Historical Society The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley

Betty Stein, one of our 2019 Hoosier Jewish Legends to be honored in two weeks, passed away Friday in Fort Wayne surroun...
08/12/2019
Congregation Achduth Vesholom

Betty Stein, one of our 2019 Hoosier Jewish Legends to be honored in two weeks, passed away Friday in Fort Wayne surrounded by her loving family. She was truly a legend and has been a beacon of light to the community for decades. May her memory, just as her life was, be for a blessing.

We mourn the loss of our beloved Betty Stein. May her memory be for a blessing.

As promised back at Stop 2 in Lafayette: another Torah ark (cabinet) that protrudes to the exterior! This protruding ark...
08/07/2019

As promised back at Stop 2 in Lafayette: another Torah ark (cabinet) that protrudes to the exterior! This protruding ark is located at the 1923 Hebrew Orthodox in South Bend, Stop 14 #IndianaSynagogues. The building was badly damaged by fire in the 1970s. Thanks to the pastor and congregants at Sweet Home Baptist Church, we were able to photograph the interior. South Bend, Indiana Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley Michiana Jewish Historical Society

In 1948, Israel became a State and Temple Israel was built in Elkhart, Indiana. Can you see it? This synagogue is almost...
07/31/2019

In 1948, Israel became a State and Temple Israel was built in Elkhart, Indiana. Can you see it? This synagogue is almost entirely covered in ivy today. If anyone knows who currently owns this building (already tried to reach the SAKAL congregation) we'd love to take photos of the inside too! #IndianaSynagogues Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities

07/29/2019
IHGS

Thank you to Bruce Haines , Steven Carr and the production team at
PBS39, Fort Wayne for putting together a wonderful spot on Indiana Jewish History and Holocaust Education in Indiana. The following: Congregation Achduth Vesholom Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center Indiana Historical Society Violins of Hope Fort Wayne Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Indiana Department of Education were also mentioned during the discussion!

Many thanks to Wendy Fergusson Soltz of the Indiana Jewish Historical Society and Bruce Haines of PBS39, Fort Wayne for this segment profiling both the Society and IHGS. Purdue Fort Wayne College of Arts & Sciences Purdue University Fort Wayne

This week (stop #12) and next we will feature two "hidden" #IndianaSynagogues It's architectural archaeology! Notice in ...
07/22/2019

This week (stop #12) and next we will feature two "hidden" #IndianaSynagogues It's architectural archaeology! Notice in these photos of the 1899-1900 Sharith Israel in Goshen, Indiana that vinyl siding and a front addition are covering up several street-facing windows; tiles are masking the original curved wooden ceiling; and a temporary wall has closed off the women's balcony. Thanks to the owners and Landmark Apostolic Church, this former synagogue is in immaculate shape and remains in caring hands. Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities

Stop 11 of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1922 Temple Beth El in Muncie. Feeling instantly at home in this building, it appro...
07/16/2019

Stop 11 of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1922 Temple Beth El in Muncie. Feeling instantly at home in this building, it appropriately announces: "Mine house is a house of prayer for all peoples.” Notice the way the original building communes with the new side addition, especially with the wonderful comparison of old and new stained glass windows. Thank you to IJHS board member Robert Phillips for his hospitality! Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Ball State Historic Preservation

Our last stop in Fort Wayne is the current home of Congregation Achduth Vesholom built in 1961. It is the oldest congreg...
07/09/2019

Our last stop in Fort Wayne is the current home of Congregation Achduth Vesholom built in 1961. It is the oldest congregation in Indiana (founded in 1848), but all three of its former synagogue buildings have been destroyed. You can't help but be inspired by the incredible mid-century architecture, several commissioned sculptures, and colorful stained glass windows... all set on a pristine river-side lot. #IndianaSynagogues Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne

07/08/2019
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Our hearts are heavy as one of our 2017 Hoosier Jewish Legends, Eva Kor of Terre Haute, passed away last week. May her memory be a blessing.

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Eva Kor, Holocaust survivor, forgiveness advocate, and founder of CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Eva passed peacefully today, July 4th, 2019, at 7:10am local time in Krakow, Poland on the annual CANDLES trip to Poland.

Eva Kor has touched hundreds of thousands of people over her 85 years through her message of overcoming tragedy, finding forgiveness, and healing. Surviving the Holocaust at age 10 meant that Eva emerged from a childhood full of fear, loss, grief, and displacement. She and her twin sister, Miriam, were the sole survivors of her immediate family, losing two sisters, her mother, and father on the selection platform at Auschwitz. In addition, she and Miriam were put through the horrific and inhumane experiments by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. But rather than allowing the darkest moments of her life to define her, she moved forward headfirst into a life of purpose.

Serving eight years in the Israeli army, Eva tried to create a new life for herself through learning a new trade and getting to know her fellow soldiers. After meeting another survivor and getting married, Eva moved from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Terre Haute, IN, where she spoke no English. Learning the language, raising two children, and working in real estate for 34 years, Eva tried to put her past behind her. But when the NBC special The Holocaust premiered, Eva realized the community finally had context for her tragic history. This newfound visibility and understanding led to a path filled with searching for Dr. Mengele’s files, speaking all over the world, helping individuals in search of their own healing, and founding a museum that continues to grow every year. Eva blazed trails for Holocaust education and brought the story of the Mengele twins and Dr. Mengele’s experiments into the international spotlight.

The themes of Eva’s life are apparent. We can overcome hardship and tragedy. Forgiveness can help us to heal. And everyone has the power and responsibility to make this world a better place.

We hope Eva’s story continues to change the lives of those who hear it for many years to come.

CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center will be closed until Tuesday, July 9th, at 10:00am EST in honor of Eva. We welcome visitors to come to the museum and pay their respects once we have reopened on Tuesday.

Information about a public memorial service for Eva will be released at a future date. Her family thanks everyone for their kind words and for allowing them to have their peace and privacy at this time.

Last week's #IndianaSynagogues post featured the 1955 B'nai Jacob in Fort Wayne and this week is their 1993 synagogue be...
07/02/2019

Last week's #IndianaSynagogues post featured the 1955 B'nai Jacob in Fort Wayne and this week is their 1993 synagogue before it was recently sold. An incredibly serene space with manicured gardens, check out the ornately carved Torah ark and art glass windows. Does anyone know which pieces of the building and Judaica will be moved to Congregation Achduth Vesholom? Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne

This week and next we are highlighting Congregation B'nai Jacob in Fort Wayne. Founded in 1912, the congregation is clos...
06/25/2019

This week and next we are highlighting Congregation B'nai Jacob in Fort Wayne. Founded in 1912, the congregation is closing this month and merging with Congregation Achduth Vesholom. Stop 8 of #IndianaSynagogues is their second synagogue, built in 1955. Does anyone know if the cornerstones were "erased" or never carved? Thanks to the welcoming pastor at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church (current owners) for helping us with this project. Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne

Congregation Achduth Vesholom
06/25/2019

Congregation Achduth Vesholom

Mazel tov to the newest 2019 Hoosier Jewish Legends named by the Indiana Jewish Historical Society. We congratulate past and present Congregation Achduth Vesholom members Joseph Levine, John Planer, and Betty Stein. To read more go to: http://www.ijhs.org/hoosier-legends/

Stop 7! The 1911 Temple Israel : United Hebrew Congregation Terre Haute, Indiana The sanctuary includes glorious stained...
06/18/2019

Stop 7! The 1911 Temple Israel : United Hebrew Congregation Terre Haute, Indiana The sanctuary includes glorious stained glass windows which feature Abraham and the binding of Isaac and Moses with the 10 commandments. Depictions of human faces are unusual in a synagogue sanctuary because Judaism is an aniconic faith. But stay tuned: we will show you another sanctuary in #IndianaSynagogues with similar windows! Bonus: Check out this 1945 photo (located in our archives) of Temple Israel children celebrating Sukkot Indiana Historical Society Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities

#IndianaSynagogues 6th stop is the 1926-27 B'nai Abraham in Terre Haute. The white trim pictured in the sanctuary was mo...
06/11/2019

#IndianaSynagogues 6th stop is the 1926-27 B'nai Abraham in Terre Haute. The white trim pictured in the sanctuary was most likely painted gold. Note the original light fixtures, chalkboards in the classrooms, and the faint shadow of a mezzuzah on one of the door frames. It has been a senior center, and now the Wabash Activity Center, for over 50 years. Thank you for keeping this treasure in wonderful condition! Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Temple Israel : United Hebrew Congregation Terre Haute, Indiana

Stop 5 on the Summer of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1906 B'nai Abraham in Terre Haute. This fascinating find was sold to t...
06/04/2019

Stop 5 on the Summer of #IndianaSynagogues is the 1906 B'nai Abraham in Terre Haute. This fascinating find was sold to the "Improved Order of Redmen" in 1925 and is now apartments. Two items of note: 1. the original twin domes, rose window, and strong verticals and horizontals make it strikingly similar to the 1872 Central Synagogue in NY. 2. the cornerstone was altered. Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities Temple Israel : United Hebrew Congregation Terre Haute, Indiana Wabash Activity Center

Our latest newsletter, Historical News, is out! Read about what we've been up to.
05/31/2019
Follow us as we record your history!

Our latest newsletter, Historical News, is out! Read about what we've been up to.

IJHS met at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center on April 28 for our spring program. We were welcomed by Leah Simpson, Interim Executive Director, and Steven Alan Carr of Purdue Fort Wayne and Jill Weiss Simins of the Indiana State Library provided an exciting talk and demonstratio...

Stop 4 on the Summer of #IndianaSynagogues : 1916 Sons of Abraham in Lafayette. Quaintly nestled on a residential street...
05/28/2019

Stop 4 on the Summer of #IndianaSynagogues : 1916 Sons of Abraham in Lafayette. Quaintly nestled on a residential street in old-world style, we would love to obtain interior photos of the charming brick building. Let us know if you can help us document this sacred space! Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities

Stop #3 on the Summer #IndianaSynagogues: The 1969 Temple Israel West Lafayette. This mid-century modern building sits o...
05/21/2019

Stop #3 on the Summer #IndianaSynagogues: The 1969 Temple Israel West Lafayette. This mid-century modern building sits on a large manicured lot. The conical roof of the sanctuary, clad in wood on the interior, provides a magnificent view upwards to the heavens. This is a truly serene and peaceful place and thanks to Mary Tilden for giving me a spectacular tour. Indiana Landmarks Indiana Humanities

Address

6705 Hoover Road
Indianapolis, IN
46260

General information

What does the IJHS do? 1. Publish an annual historical journal, INDIANA JEWISH HISTORY, which includes articles that describe the lives of Jewish Hoosiers, documents aspects of Jewish life,etc. We have published almost 40 editions. 2. Publish a quarterly newsletter, THE HISTORICAL NEWS, which chronicles historical as well as contemporary info about happenings in Jewish communities throughout Indiana. 3. Support communities seeking historic designations 4. Collect and archive items in the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis and made available to the public. 5. Sponsor programs that focus on the Indiana Jewish experience. 6. Maintain our website ijhs.org 7. Provide programming to other organizations looking to enlighten their groups about our rich, fascinating story.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(317) 749-0048

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If you happen to be in the Chicago area this coming Sunday, you are welcome to check out the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois: “Unique Aspects of Jewish Genealogy” will be the lecture topic of Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois president Debbie Kroopkin at the Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, JGSI meeting. Her presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. Registration, networking, and the JGSI genealogy help desk and research library will open at 12:30 p.m. For more information, see https://jgsi.org/event-3573919 or phone 312-666-0100. Free and open to the public.
This letter is written on behalf of Mr. Shavit Snir, the biological father of both Odelia and Nelle Bargeron (as proven via a DNA test, ordered by the family court in the state of New Jersey in 2016). As you already know, from the countless letters and phone calls he has made, his daughter, Odelia, attends your Hebrew Academy, and is now in the 6th grade and is required to do a Genealogy Project. To most this is not such a difficult task, the child can simply ask her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts questions to which the child will get answers, often embellished further with family anecdotes, pictures, etc. It is a chance for the child to learn the history of her family and to better understand him/herself. But in the case of Odelia, her father (who as you know has been alienated from his two daughters) lives in Israel and his attempts at transferring any information on his family tree have been met with a brick wall by your school. So Odelia is essentially being robbed of her Jewish identify and an opportunity to better understand herself and her Jewish Family’s roots. Your institute, that seeks to in fact teach her about her Judaism, its values and the importance of her family history, is doing completely the opposite by denying her this basic information. It is essential that you understand that Mr. Snir is not requesting your intervention in his family dispute, he simply wants to transfer Odelia’s Jewish Family History to his daughter. He wants her to have the material, the history, the stories, the pictures. For her to feel part of this genealogy project and not alienated from her Jewish Family’s history. It is quite absurd that Odelia is being denied the information on her Jewish Family Tree at a Jewish Institute. If it were not for Mr. Snir, Odelia would not be able to attend your school (since her mother is not Jewish). Mr. Snir’s father, Odelia’s grandfather lost his entire family was in the Holocaust, making him an orphan from the age of 2 Fortunately he was adopted at age 3 and made Aliya together with his foster Mom in 1943 Also Mr. Snir’s mother lost many family members. So now Odelia’s grandparents are losing both of their granddaughters Odelia (and her older sister Nelle). Odelia’s mother is succeeding where the Holocaust failed, to erase all traces of the existence of her Jewish side of the family. This erasure of Odelia’s Jewish Family History is all being carried out, whether intentionally or not, with the cooperation of your Jewish school. By denying her this information you are essentially contributing to the family dispute. On August 29th of this year, shortly after Mr. Snir discovered that this Genealogy project was a part of the coming year’s program, he phoned Mrs. Miriam Gettinger, the School Principal and Toni Scott, School Administrator of the school and he offered to send via email (or however else they would like) all the material necessary for his daughter to put together her Jewish Family Tree. They outright refused. “Odelia doesn’t need nor does she want your help”. Naturally, Mr. Snir was totally shocked by this reply because a) they didn’t ask Odelia b) If it weren’t for Mr. Snir, she wouldn’t be attending your school.If your school truly seeks “to develop responsible, ethical and caring Jewish adults”, why do they operate in such an unethical and uncaring manner towards their students? The slogan of your Hebrew Academy as it appears on your website is: “inspiring Jewish Identity, Achieving Academic Excellence”. “The mission of the Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis is to create a learning environment that fosters the religious, social and academic growth of all students. Because the progress of each student is valued highly, great efforts are made to assure suitable learning goals for everyone. All students are encouraged to work toward producing at maximum potential. In pursuit of academic excellence, we emphasize basic skills, higher-order thinking and life long learning. Together as a community of learners, we promote growth in knowledge and identification with Jewish traditions. Through our programming and classroom instruction we instill in our students a spiritual bond and a strong sense of commitment to the State of Israel. By nurturing a love of learning, we seek to develop responsible, ethical and caring Jewish adults and American citizens of the future.” The above sections have been bolded to show the absurdity of this situation and to point out that these are merely words without meaning or value to the Hasten Hebrew Academy. Mr. Snir is merely requesting that you help his daughter receive the love she deserves by allowing her access to her family’s history. Details of the individuals Mr. Snir contacted on August 29th: Miriam Gettinger, School Principal: [email protected]: 1-317-251-1261, ext. 157 Toni Scott, School Administrator: [email protected] : 1-317-251-1261 (ext: unknown) Most Sincerely, On behalf of Mr. Shavit Snir
Dear miss hi This letter is written on behalf of Mr. Shavit Snir, the biological father of both Odelia and Nelle Bargeron (as proven via a DNA test, ordered by the family court in the state of New Jersey in 2016). As you already know, from the countless letters and phone calls he has made, his daughter, Odelia, attends your Hebrew Academy, and is now in the 6th grade and is required to do a Genealogy Project. To most this is not such a difficult task, the child can simply ask her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts questions to which the child will get answers, often embellished further with family anecdotes, pictures, etc. It is a chance for the child to learn the history of her family and to better understand him/herself. But in the case of Odelia, her father (who as you know has been alienated from his two daughters) lives in Israel and his attempts at transferring any information on his family tree have been met with a brick wall by your school. So Odelia is essentially being robbed of her Jewish identify and an opportunity to better understand herself and her Jewish Family’s roots. Your institute, that seeks to in fact teach her about her Judaism, its values and the importance of her family history, is doing completely the opposite by denying her this basic information. It is essential that you understand that Mr. Snir is not requesting your intervention in his family dispute, he simply wants to transfer Odelia’s Jewish Family History to his daughter. He wants her to have the material, the history, the stories, the pictures. For her to feel part of this genealogy project and not alienated from her Jewish Family’s history. It is quite absurd that Odelia is being denied the information on her Jewish Family Tree at a Jewish Institute. If it were not for Mr. Snir, Odelia would not be able to attend your school (since her mother is not Jewish). Mr. Snir’s father, Odelia’s grandfather lost his entire family was in the Holocaust, making him an orphan from the age of 2 Fortunately he was adopted at age 3 and made Aliya together with his foster Mom in 1948 Also Mr. Snir’s mother lost many family members. So now Odelia’s grandparents are losing both of their granddaughters Odelia (and her older sister Nelle). Odelia’s mother is succeeding where the Holocaust failed, to erase all traces of the existence of her Jewish side of the family. This erasure of Odelia’s Jewish Family History is all being carried out, whether intentionally or not, with the cooperation of your Jewish school. By denying her this information you are essentially contributing to the family dispute. On August 29th of this year, shortly after Mr. Snir discovered that this Genealogy project was a part of the coming year’s program, he phoned Mrs. Miriam Gettinger, the School Principal and Toni Scott, School Administrator of the school and he offered to send via email (or however else they would like) all the material necessary for his daughter to put together her Jewish Family Tree. They outright refused. “Odelia doesn’t need nor does she want your help”. Naturally, Mr. Snir was totally shocked by this reply because a) they didn’t ask Odelia b) If it weren’t for Mr. Snir, she wouldn’t be attending your school.If your school truly seeks “to develop responsible, ethical and caring Jewish adults”, why do they operate in such an unethical and uncaring manner towards their students? The slogan of your Hebrew Academy as it appears on your website is: “inspiring Jewish Identity, Achieving Academic Excellence”. “The mission of the Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis is to create a learning environment that fosters the religious, social and academic growth of all students. Because the progress of each student is valued highly, great efforts are made to assure suitable learning goals for everyone. All students are encouraged to work toward producing at maximum potential. In pursuit of academic excellence, we emphasize basic skills, higher-order thinking and life long learning. Together as a community of learners, we promote growth in knowledge and identification with Jewish traditions. Through our programming and classroom instruction we instill in our students a spiritual bond and a strong sense of commitment to the State of Israel. By nurturing a love of learning, we seek to develop responsible, ethical and caring Jewish adults and American citizens of the future.” The above sections have been bolded to show the absurdity of this situation and to point out that these are merely words without meaning or value to the Hasten Hebrew Academy. Mr. Snir is merely requesting that you help his daughter receive the love she deserves by allowing her access to her family’s history. Details of the individuals Mr. Snir contacted on August 29th: Miriam Gettinger, School Principal: [email protected]: 1-317-251-1261, ext. 157 Toni Scott, School Administrator: [email protected] : 1-317-251-1261 (ext: unknown) Most Sincerely, On behalf of Mr. Shavit Snir