Associated Press Release
This article appeared in many newspapers and other media including:
The St. Paul Pioneer Press, WCCO - Minneapolis MN, WKBT - La Crosse WI
Virginia, Minn. A bill at the Legislature would help fund the restoration of the B'nai Abraham Synagogue, a 1909 landmark that saw the growth and decline of the Jewish community on the Iron Range.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, would help Friends of B'nai Abraham pay for the work. The synagogue is the second-oldest synagogue in Minnesota and the only one remaining on the Range.
"Jewish immigrants on the Range were really unique," Rukavina said. "We can preserve it because it's such a unique piece of history."
The House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee heard testimony on the bill Wednesday. Rukavina said the state should allocate $50,000 to $75,000 in matching funds for the project.
The Iron Range Resources Board is providing $15,000 in matching funds for a new roof. The nonprofit Friends group wants to build a new heating system and floor, create easier accessibility, improve the kitchen and fix up the exterior.
The project is expected to cost $350,000.