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Roto: Rebuilding the Temple — in Wellesley, Mass.

Judy Avnery, Limud director at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Mass., writes:

The students of the Limud program (grades K-5) built this replica of the Second Temple made of 35,000 Lego bricks specially ordered from Denmark. Building a replica of Jerusalem’s old Temple connected these 365 young Jewish learners from Temple Beth Elohim to what will soon be the creation of their own new temple here in Wellesley. We dreamed up this school-wide project to share the excitement of Temple Beth Elohim’s new home by emphasizing the role of the community in bringing it to life. We wanted our project to reflect the greater goals of our curriculum and connect the children to the future of our synagogue and to Israel’s past and current history. We wanted the children to feel the importance of their role in building the temple. Every section was essential. Without all the pieces, the Temple would not stand. Just like in days of old, it wasn’t “what” you brought to the Temple, but the fact that you participated in the building and the life of the Temple. The Legos were such a great way to get the kids involved creatively and enthusiastically and ultimately created a stable and vibrant replica. Before the building of the temple began in February, each class learned about the Temple in Jerusalem, its role in Jewish life at that time in history, the differences between The Temple and their temple, and the Jewish rituals and objects that the children can find in their temple today to remember some of the ritual from Jerusalem’s old Temple.

Editor’s Note:

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at [email protected] along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.

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