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The Schmooze

Synagogue Unearths 100-Year-Old Time Capsule

As the old saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. That was certainly the case yesterday when deteriorating documents, newspapers and coins were unearthed at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson, which once served as Arizona’s first synagogue. The items were found in a time capsule buried inside a cornerstone of the building 100 years ago by members of the original congregation.

Hundreds of people gathered for the ceremony, including the family of Eva Goldschmidt Mansfeld, who pushed for the first temple’s construction in 1910 and donated the land for its creation.

“It was almost overwhelming,” Amanda Manspeaker Weiss, Mansfeld’s great-great-granddaughter, told the Arizona Daily Star. “I feel proud to be here and see all of this. It’s my family’s history. It’s awesome.”

Since the synagogue first opened on October 23, 1910, it has hosted a Reform congregation, 11 different churches and other groups. Today it’s the home of the museum.

At the celebration, a 2010 time capsule was placed in the ground — filled with, among other things, 2010 U.S. coins, local newspapers and an American flag with 48 stars that was carried in Tucson in 1912 — to be opened 100 years from now.

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