Bridge Project fulfills Terry Fear’s wish to recognize historic injustice in Vigo County

By Ken Turetzky

Injustice haunted Terry Fear and opposing injustice consumed her. She passed away Dec. 13, 2020, in the midst of a vigil to protest executions at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute.

Terry found no shortage of social justice causes in the present era — an oil pipeline on sacred Native American land in North Dakota, violent white supremacists in Charlottesville, migrant children detained in Florida — but died before she could help commemorate a sudden, brutal sequence of historic injustices perpetrated by citizens of her own community 120 years ago.

The violence claimed two victims — Ida Finkelstein, a Jewish schoolteacher just days short of her 21st birthday, and George Ward, a Black family man and foundry worker who was 25, according to census records.

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UHC community agrees: Terry Fear helped forge an extended family in the congregation

On the first Shabbat following Terry Fear’s passing — one week after Terry had lit candles to begin the Temple’s virtual service — UHC members shared remembrances of their friend and colleague, who died suddenly Dec. 13 at age 66.

Among her many contributions to the congregation and community, Terry served as UHC vice president and secretary, led the Temple’s restoration efforts, coordinated special events in the sanctuary, served on the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center board and worked widely for social justice.

Most satisfying of all for Terry, friends agreed, were her efforts to introduce people she admired and appreciated to each other, to foster knowledge, understanding and personal growth.

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Terry Fear brought people together — this time, to honor her memory

Terry Fear brought people together to share friendship and perspective on faith. She worked diligently to improve her community and the wider world around her, and to preserve life. She softly sang Shabbat prayers to a close friend facing a quiet and peaceful death, only days before Terry herself passed away suddenly. She made her best effort to repair the world.

We learned these things as family, friends, fellow congregants and colleagues shared their remembrances of Terry during an Inter-Faith Council of the Wabash Valley virtual memorial and following United Hebrew Congregation’s regular Friday night Shabbat service. Only a week before, Terry had lit the Shabbat candles to begin this same event.

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