Congregation Ahavath Sholom- Preservation Achievement Award

Congregation Ahavath Sholom for the restoration of the 1920 Fort Worth World War I honor roll tablets.

Marble tablets memorializing 81 local Jewish men who fought in WWI between 1914 and 1918 were originally embedded in the Hebrew Institute at 819 Taylor Street. They were rediscovered in 1980 and hung in a landscaped courtyard at Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s new buiding at 4050 S. Hulen Street. (A 5th tablet was found later that was inscribed with the tablet sponsors, the Ladies Auxiliary to the Hebrew Institute.)

Sun and rain exposure took their toll. The dark ink used for each person’s name was almost invisible, and the colors in the American flags were chipped away. Professional photographer Ellen Appel tried several techniques to be able to read the names and Bob Sumien, owner of Professional Irrigation Company, the Congregation’s Catholic landscaper, volunteered to restore the tablets, which he evnetually did. The restoration took approximately 8 to 9 months.

Once, restored, lighting was installed for all to know the names of the Jewish soldiers from Fort Worth who fought in WWI, and more than 20 of the honor roll soldiers still have family members in Fort Worth.

HFW 2017 Cantey Lecture & Preservation Awards photographed Thursday, September 21, 2017 at The Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Hollace Weiner, Joseph Murphey, and Bob Sumien. Photography by Bruce E. Maxwell.


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