web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



The Synagogue That Merges Past And Future


Lewis-080814-Path

Every shul has its history. Some, however, have more twists and turns than others. How was a shul ever built in Kibbutz Gvat, a secular kibbutz in the Yizrael Valley (Emek Yizrael) in northern Israel, a short distance from the cities of Afula and Natzeret? How did this tiny, derelict shul become an extension of the Museum of Pioneer Settlement that draws thousands of visitors annually? And how can the Museum Synagogue simultaneously pay homage to the past and serve the future?Lewis-080814-View

Between 1911 and 1951 tens of thousands of immigrants, many of them survivors of the horrors of World War II, arrived in Israel with the dream of resettling their ancient homeland. Many of these young, secular pioneers established kibbutzim. Kibbutz Gvat was founded in 1926 by young secular pioneers with a new vision for traditional values. When these pioneers were followed by their parents, a conflict arose. Were they going to uphold their own, new vision of Judaism, or would they bow to the view of their parents who were determined to uphold traditional Jewish values? Despite their idealism, the pioneers’ desire to honor their parents won out – both a shul and a kosher dining hall were built. In 1954, former residents of Gvat established Kibbutz Yifat, but ties between the two kibbutzim remained close. During the 1960’s, as the older generation passed away, the shul fell into disuse and was even used as a storage area. It was only in the 1990’s that the idea of restoring it began to bloom.

 

The Museum Embraces the Shul

Lewis-080814-PathRabbi Shlomo Raanan, director of Ayelet Hashachar, a non-profit organization set up in 1997 that works to bridge the gap between religious and non-religious Jews in Israel, has become an expert at assessing the buildings and converting them into places where G-d can enter. The organization has established shuls all over Israel: Kibbutz Manara and Kibbutz Sde Nechemyah in the north and Kibbutz Gvar’am and Kibbutz Ruchama in the south are all witness to the tireless efforts of Ayelet Hashachar. But when I spoke with Rabbi Raanan, I was eager to hear about his work in the Yizrael Valley.

“The restoration of Givat’s shul began on an international airline flight!” says Rabbi Raanan. “Years ago, on one of my many flights overseas, I got to know one of the flight attendants. Gilad Stukelman wasn’t only a charming young man; he was also a cousin of my accountant. Our developing relationship came to a tragic end: in August 2006, Captain Gilad Stukelman was killed in the Second Lebanon War. He was twenty-six years old. When visiting his bereaved family who live on Timrat, a yishuv in the Yizrael Valley, I suggested that since there wasn’t a shul on Timrat, we build and dedicate a shul in his memory.” The suggestion was taken up.

When the secretary of Timrat heard that neighboring Kibbutz Yifat was considering renovating the derelict shul in Kibbutz Gvat, it didn’t take long for her to put Avner Galili, treasurer and project manager, in touch with Rav Raanan. Ties between Kibbutz Gvat and Kibbutz Yifat had remained strong. Rav Raanan decided to strengthen them.Lewis-080814-Shul-2

The Museum of Pioneer Settlement on Kibbutz Yifat, established in 1972, draws thousands of visitors annually. The museum tells the story of the chalutzim, the pioneers, who settled in the Yizrael Valley between the years 1911 and 1951. These pioneers dried swamps, dug ditches, worked as stone-cutters, built roads and laid the foundation for what would later become Israel’s world-renowned agricultural accomplishments. The children’s home, dining hall and pharmacy have all been restored. There are photos, clothes and tools, including the first oil-generated water pump that was imported from Germany at the end of the 1920s, to document the past. But there wasn’t a vestige of tradition left.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Synagogue That Merges Past And Future”

  1. GOD BLESS ISRAEL YOUR CHOOSEN LOVING PEOPEL.GOD LOVES HIS BELOVED COUNTRY ISRAEL…
    WE LOVE YOU ISRAEL+IDF.
    WE STAND WITH YOU ISRAEL+IDF.
    FOREVER

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS executioner holding British aid worker Alan Henning as a hostage.
Muslims Plead with ISIS for Life of UK Aid Worker Alan Henning
Latest Sections Stories

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

More Articles from Rhona Lewis
Lewis-092614

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

The traditional services that take place here transport visitors back in time, enabling them to smell and feel the authentic historical experience.

Sleepily, I watched him kissing Mai’s chubby thighs.

Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.

A woman who knows that her family is financially stable is a happy, relaxed mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/the-synagogue-that-merges-past-and-future/2014/08/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: