A Ligonier museum, which formerly housed a synagogue, will receive a historical marker next month. The community's Jewish population dedicated the Ahavath Sholom building in 1889.

July 25, 2014

News Release

Ligonier, Ind. — A public dedication ceremony for an Indiana state historical marker commemorating Ligonier's Jewish synagogue Ahavath Sholom, is scheduled for Sunday, August 31, 2014. The marker will be dedicated at 3:00 P.M. (EDT) outside the Ligonier Historical Society, located at 503 S. Main St., Ligonier, IN 46767. Parking is available along the streets nearby the building.

The text follows for the state marker entitled “Ahavath Sholom”:

German Jews immigrated to the U.S. in greater numbers starting in the 1850s. In the 1860s, Ligonier's Jewish residents formed the congregation Ahavath Sholom (Hebrew for “peace loving”) and circa 1867, built a small synagogue nearby. The congregation formed close relationships with local churches. The Jewish community prospered, providing civic and business leaders. In 1889, the congregation dedicated a new synagogue here. Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of American Reform Judaism, spoke on religious tolerance at the dedication; the celebration included people from other cities and states. Jewish population peaked around 1900, later declining as younger residents moved to larger cities for educational and economic opportunities.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony for this Indiana state historical marker as part of the 125th anniversary celebration of the building. The celebration, which lasts from 1:00-5:00 PM, will include an open house at the museum and guided tour of the building and its collections, a silent auction, music, and light refreshments, in addition to the dedication of the marker.

State historical markers commemorate significant individuals, organizations, places, and events in Indiana history. These markers help communities throughout the state promote, preserve, and present their history for the education and enjoyment of residents and tourists of all ages. For almost 100 years the Indiana Historical Bureau, an agency of the State of Indiana, has been marking Indiana history. Since 1946, the marker format has been the large roadside marker, which has the familiar dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top. There are over 500 of these markers across the state.

For more information about this marker, the Indiana Historical Marker Program, and other resources about Indiana, visit the Indiana Historical Bureau’s website at www.IN.gov/history or call 317-233-8940. For more information about the marker dedication ceremony and the 125th anniversary celebration, contact the Ligonier Public Library at 260-894-4511 or visit: http://ligoniertemple.blogspot.com.

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