Friday, October 11, 2019

History of the Jewish Community of the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont, 1971–2019: David Kanell

Photo by Darcie McCann.
With heartfelt thanks to Dr. Erica Andrus of the University of Vermont, here is the interview she recorded with David I. (Dave) Kanell on March 30, 2019. May his name be for a blessing.

Across the Massachusetts Border: Two Resources

from Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments

Exploring the family history of Patty (Grodsky) Caplan of St Johnsbury led to this valuable site that includes her home town of Springfield, Mass.: the Jewish Historical Society of Western Massachusetts.

Because North Adams, Massachusetts, is featured on this site (and is just across the border from Vermont), it's of value to share and look, especially at the art from the now vanished synagogue of North Adams: Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Harvey Caplan (May his name be a blessing): Synagogue Leader, St Johnsbury

At the celebration of Harvey Caplan's life, there was little mention of his role in Congregation Beth El of St Johnsbury. Most people mentioned instead his joy in life, his escapades, his friendships. It was a very good celebration!

But we note here that Harvey also played a major role in the growth of Beth El from its first location upstairs over Love's Department Store in St. Johnsbury, with a few families, to its eventual strength of more than 60 families and its own shul, on Hospital Drive. Whether it was helping raise the enthusiasm to get the land and build the structure, or gathering the community to mark special events, or recruiting a painter, a carpenter, a plumber, from among the many he knew personally, Harvey was excited about connecting and making things happen. He also served as president of the congregation for some years, and with his wife Patty, gave in many ways toward the formation and maintenance of the community.

His obituary is shown here, rich with family stories. For reference, here are some dates that precede him: His father Joseph Robert Caplan was born in Tupper Lake, NY, in 1905, and died in St. Johnsbury in 1993; Harvey's mother, Rhoda (Klasky) Caplan, lived from 1912 to 1972. Joseph Caplan's parents were Moses Caplan (1872-1950) and Dora Feder (1878-1953). Dora's parents were Mikhail Feder (born and died in. Russia, 1841-1890) and Sarah Feder (born in Vilna in 1842, died in Philadelphis in 1930). Sarah's parents were Eliyahu and Yetta Feder.

It is good to be able to say of Harvey that the joy and laughter he shared live on in many.

Monday, January 28, 2019