At 85th anniversary, a restored historic Texas synagogue gets ‘Kinky’ - www.jewishaz.com: Feature

At 85th anniversary, a restored historic Texas synagogue gets ‘Kinky’

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  • Kinky Friedman

    The Texan singer-songwriter is playing a concert to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Galveston's historic Congregation Beth Jacob.

Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 10:00 am

GALVESTON, Texas — Taking this reporter on a recent tour of Galveston Island’s Congregation Beth Jacob, the synagogue’s staff and lay leaders show remarkable attention to detail: the shifting locations of specific furniture and ritual items from the 1930s, to the ’60s, to the present; the water line on the Torah ark, a reminder of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike in 2008; even the intricacies of the electrical work and the air-conditioning system.

But why does all this detail matter? For this Texas city’s small Jewish community — an estimated 150 to 175 households — the Conservative synagogue’s facility is akin to a national treasure. And so is the history of the entire island that surrounds it.

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