On February 17, 2016, the Lost Shul Mural Project was honored with Preservation Burlington Institutional Award from local preservation advocacy organization Preservation Burlington. Preservation Burlington board member Daniel Goltzman made remarks at the presentation. Former Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine Kunin accepted the award on behalf of the entire project team, its many supports, and Congregation Ohavi Zedek, which has sponsored the rescue and restoration project and where the mural is now newly installed for public viewing.
This is just one example of how the presence of the mural is beginning to resonate in Burlington and throughout Vermont. In the coming year as we develop our educational programs, we expect to see many instances of the integration of the mural and its history, into the local cultural landscape.
Here are Daniel Goltzman’s remarks:
“Preservation Burlington couldn’t be happier than to be introducing our first award recipient this year, for our institutional category. While our organization is fortunate to be able, year after year, to recognize so many wonderful historic preservation projects, this particular project represents a truly unique undertaking and the rare example where we are recognizing a local effort with repercussions nationally, internationally and culturally.
This introduction could go on and on at length and in great detail about the mural, the meaning of the mural, its history, its loss, subsequent recovery and ultimately a truly inspiring preservation effort, but it is all said much more eloquently and in greater detail in a wonderful website that the Lost Shul Mural group has set up. You can simply Google ‘Lost Shul Mural’ and instantly have a wealth of information on hand.
One thing worth noting is that due to extraordinary preservation efforts we have on full, permanent and prominent display right here in Burlington Vermont an exceptional and unique piece of Jewish European folk art whose entire tradition, which is murals painted directly on the walls of wooden synagogue, was nearly lost due to the Holocaust. So while not a hot bed of Jewish culture, this project is further proof that our little northern corner of the world has an exemplary traditional of multicultural awareness and acceptance.
So it is with greatest pleasure to present the Lost Shul Mural project with the 2016 Preservation Burlington Institutional award.”
You can watch Gov. Kunin and other speak about the mural last August here, or read their remarks.