Rabbi Emil Leipziger repudiated violence as he mourned Ida Finkelstein and George Ward

By Scott Skillman

On February 27, 1901, Rabbi Emil Leipziger led a group in solemn prayer. Still in his early 20s and just a year into his term at reform congregation Temple Israel in Terre Haute, Rabbi Leipziger now presided over the funeral of a Jewish woman barely three years younger than himself.

The rabbi mourned along with a shocked community dealing with tragic loss. And yet, when he said, “Let us repudiate this act of violence,” he did not speak only of the murdered Ida Finkelstein.

He was speaking about a historic, criminal act perpetrated by Terre Haute’s citizens in the lynching of Finkelstein’s accused murderer, a Black man named George Ward.

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For Czech Scroll #845 from Pardubice, the ride to UHC marked the last (best) leg of its journey

By Scott Skillman

The story of the Memorial Scrolls Trust and its mission to preserve the Torah scrolls of Czechoslovakia, rescued after the systematic destruction of the Jewish communities, is well-documented.

The Torahs were consolidated to Prague during the Nazi occupation. After the war, during the Communist occupation, the scrolls were placed in storage in the ruins of the Michle Synagogue basement.

Due to good record-keeping, we know many scrolls were saved from Pardubice. Four of those scrolls have been leased out to Jewish congregations around the world.

At present, one scroll resides in Cambridge England (#689), one in Tampa, Fla. (#1169), one in Glencoe, Ill. (#229), and the last with United Hebrew Congregation in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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Dr. Renate Justin surmounts tragedy to share her story In ‘What I Have To Tell: A Memoir’

By Scott Skillman

From time to time, the Temple receives unsolicited books for review, consideration or for no reason at all. One such book, What I Have to Tell: A Memoir by Renate G. Justin, M.D. (Crystal Publishing, Fort Collins, CO, 2019), caught my eye, as it was credited to a former member of the Terre Haute Jewish community.

In 163 pages, we are informed of a world of pain and how one person chose to rise above it. Our narrator makes clear a person can rise above her circumstances, but that does not necessarily mean she can escape them.

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Legally Speaking: Choose your representative well, or that will could get tied up in trouble

By B. Scott Skillman

This installment continues my series about planning for final wishes and the factors people commonly consider when making such plans.

Previous columns covered powers of attorney and healthcare directives/living wills. Both these tools help carry out one’s wishes while alive and well or perhaps incapacitated.

I shift my focus now toward planning how to carry out one’s intentions after one passes.
Today, we’ll address wills in Indiana, and what they’re meant to accomplish.

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