In 2004, Dothan's Temple Emanu-El celebrated its 75th birthday. Now, the Wiregrass Museum of Art is extending the anniversary with "Judaica: Traditions from Temple Emanu-El."

The exhibit of Judaica opened at the city's museum on Oct. 15, and will be in the Dove Gallery East through March 5.

The concept of the exhibit was approved by the congregation's 75th Anniversary Committee, chaired by Barbara Minsky and the late Bill Nomberg, and was originally to open last December. The congregational gala, culminating a year of anniversary programs, was held at the museum last December.

Because of leadership changes at the museum, Rabbi Lawrence Mahrer said, the exhibit was delayed.

The congregation has worked with the museum in the past, donating artwork with proceeds from the annual Emanu-El art auction. This year's auction is scheduled for Jan. 21 and 22.

The exhibit includes many items from Emanu-El, including shofars, a Torah mantle, the congregation's Kristallnacht Torah, a JWB chaplain’s Torah for use in combat zones, and other ritual objects.

Members also brought items of their own, including many dating back to 19th-century Europe. Items were gathered at Emanu-El and museum staff selected from the collection, Mahrer said. He then wrote text for the exhibit's display cards.

Mahrer then led an educational session for the docents, explaining the objects and concepts of Judaism. The museum staff was also invited to attend Shabbat services at Emanu-El.


The museum is undergoing renovations, but is open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed.



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