Even more encouraging, those visitors came motivated to listen and learn. “I was pleasantly surprised not only that we got the turnout we did but the people who did attend were really interested,” says Usler, based at the Western Regional Office in Terre Haute. “They spent a lot of time trying to learn and understand.”
Before the event, previously held in 2001, 2002 and 2004, “I wasn’t sure how many people were going to come out; I wasn’t sure if people were going to go in and appreciate the houses of worship, the interior and architectural elements.”
“I was pleasantly surprised not only that we got the turnout we did but the people who did attend were really interested.” — Chris Usler, Indiana Landmarks
Terre Haute Landmarks co-sponsored Stained Glass Sunday Afternoon, and Usler will discuss the event’s future with the group’s eight-member board. He makes no predictions but believes the self-guided tour will return.
“The numbers were OK,” he says. “But the fact that those who went really enjoyed it is what I believe made it a success.”
Temple Israel was one of eight downtown-area houses of worship on the tour. Terre Haute Landmarks marked the event with a special set of four placemats, available throughout June at area restaurants.
Visitors walk through the imposing, weathered Temple doors, view memorial plaques and enter the sanctuary.
Herschel Chait addresses tour visitors inside the sanctuary.
Herschel displays parchment, which resembles a Torah page, from the Megillah.
Terry Fear awaits visitors, then speaks beneath windows in the south wall.
Portholes provide views from within and without.
Stained glass windows.
Hand fans provide some relief on warm days; light fixture in entryway ceiling.
Former Indiana residents Betty and Jon Hehman added the tour to their itinerary while visiting from Woodstock, Ga.
Jane Weiner and Terry Fear act as tour guides in the Vestry Room, home to UHC’s second ark.
Don Weiner greets visitors at the parking lot entrance.
Stained glass above Temple entry; Star of David in library window; bookshelves; hallway bannister; vines on exterior wall; front steps.