Yesterday, we visited Temple Beth Or in Montgomery, Alabama .When we first arrived, I was impressed by its size; all of the synagogues we visited earlier had been much smaller and more discreet. However, Temple Beth Or featured stained glass windows and huge sanctuary doors that we couldn’t stop commenting on.
The congregational rabbi, Rabbi Stevens, was very gracious and spoke with us for over an hour about the history of the temple and Jews in Montgomery. Since Rabbi Stevens is from New York, there was an inevitable round of Jewish geography and several unlikely connections were discovered.
Rabbi Stevens spoke to us about how the Montgomery Jewish population has responded to the Civil Rights movement, their Christian neighbors, and how they maintain a strong identity today–particularly through their Jewish Food Festival, which brings in over 2,000 Montgomery citizens every year!
After an interesting conversation, lunch was served!