SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Efforts are underway to raise funds to restore a Jewish temple in Alabama.
News outlets report Temple Mishkan Israel has sat along Broad Street in Selma since 1899.
Ronnie Leet, the temple’s current president, says he had his Bar Mitzvah there at age 13 and his sister was married there. He says he also remembers when there was a thriving Jewish community in Selma. He says the city had three Jewish mayors and, at its peak, the community included between 350 and 450 families.
And though those numbers have significantly dwindled — there are just four remaining local active members in the congregation — Leet says they’re focused on ensuring the Jewish legacy continues.
He says that starts with restoration of the temple, which needs a new roof and foundation repairs.