Vermont Eats: Eastern Europe to Burlington

Vermont Eats

Vermont Eats: Eastern Europe to Burlington
Thursday, June 6, 2024
5:30-7:30 pm
Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, 188 North Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401

Join us as we use one Lost Mural, one Copper Ark, one cookbook, and one moment in time to celebrate the culture that Eastern European immigrants brought to Burlington at the turn of the twentieth century. From 1880 to 1930, a thriving Jewish community grew up in Burlington, centered around three synagogues built in Burlington’s Old North End neighborhood, known as “Burlington’s Little Jerusalem.” The Lost Mural Project, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, and Vermont Historical Society together present this special night of food, culture, and learning.

Featured Speaker: Samuel D. Gruber
Picture This: Art and Life for Vermont's Jewish Immigrants

Jews began to settle in Burlington, Vermont in the 1880s. The city became a regional center for Jewish peddlers who roamed the entire region of Lake Champlain. In time a small but vibrant Jewish community, most with roots in today Lithuania, was formed on the city’s side. The neighborhood came to be known as “Little Jerusalem.” The first generation of Vermont Jews adjusted to America but maintained many of the religious and cultural practices of the Old World. The preserved mural from the former Chai Adam synagogue, and the copper ark from the first building of Congregation Ohavi Zedek, are the most tangible reminders of this period. In this talk, Dr. Gruber will discuss the life of the synagogue, and what the works can tell us about their makers and patrons. But we’ll look beyond the synagogue, to the taste of life of immigrant Jews in their homes and businesses: what they made, what they sold, and – importantly - what they ate.

Samuel D. Gruber has been a leader in the documentation, protection, and preservation of historic Jewish sites worldwide for thirty-five years. Dr. Gruber was founding director of the Jewish Heritage Program of World Monuments Fund (WMF) (1988-1995) and Research Director of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad (1998-2008). Today he is a cultural heritage consultant and president of the not-for-profit International Survey of Jewish Monuments. He is author of American Synagogues: A Century of Architecture and Jewish Community (2003) and Synagogues (1999) and scores of published reports and articles. Gruber has been involved with the study and preservation of the Lost Mural since 2012.

Proceeds from this Vermont Eats benefit the Vermont Historical Society's Annual Fund and the Lost Mural Project. For more information, contact the Vermont Historical Society at (802) 479-8500; Register below to secure your seat(s) today!

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