Congregation, city welcomed Ellie Loeb Merar when her family fled the Nazis

By Terry Fear

Rarely do people who move from Terre Haute and leave United Hebrew Congregation as long ago as 1943 return for a visit. Eleanor Loeb Merar, now 92, came back to her adopted home Saturday, May 19 — almost the 76th anniversary of her confirmation service in Temple Israel.

Ellie, who now lives in Skokie, Ill., and is a member of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Speakers’ Bureau, came to Terre Haute to speak at CANDLES Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Her trip was made possible by Danny Spungen and the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

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Temple celebrates a busy and productive year, continues to build community

By Betsy Frank

This past year has been a productive one for United Hebrew Congregation. Your board of trustees has worked tirelessly to keep our congregation solid. A big thanks to all of the board.

One big accomplishment has been Phase One of our restoration project. Due to your generosity, donations more than matched the requirement for the grant received. Terry Fear continues to be diligent in seeking other grants to help continue the restoration process. However, we still need funds from you. So, please consider continuing to support this important effort.

We welcomed one new member family — Patricia, John, and baby Robert Sharp. Patricia is Patty Lewis’s granddaughter.

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Synagogue restoration begins with masonry repair and lintel replacement

By Terry Fear

The process of restoring United Hebrew Congregation’s historic synagogue began in the fall of 2015, when Indiana Landmarks offered UHC’s board an opportunity to take part in a training initiative with Sacred Places Indiana.

Through that training and the resulting grants, we have begun the actual restoration.

But we would not be on this journey without generous donations from congregation members, former members and friends. To date, UHC has received $30,000 in grants made possible by Sacred Places Indiana and funded by the Lilly Endowment. Our Restoration Fund continues to grow as we prepare to apply for additional grants.

UHC’s restoration has begun with Phase One: Critical Limestone Masonry Restoration and Lintel Replacement. Midwest Restoration Inc. from Paris, Ill., is completing that work.

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Ellie Loeb Merar to return for CANDLES talk; student rabbi set for fall 2018

By Terry Fear

Ellie Loeb Merar, a Terre Haute resident from 1937-1943, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at CANDLES Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

Before World War II, Ellie’s parents Emma and Albert Loeb owned a store in Lauterecken, Germany. Starting in 1933, then 7-year-old Ellie and younger sister Stella endured anti-Semitic instructors in school, while Nazis targeted the family’s store.

The Loeb family left Germany in 1937 and came to live with family in Terre Haute. Blanche Loeb Wolf and Carl Wolf, grandparents of late former United Hebrew Congregation president Ed Wormser, sponsored the Loebs.

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