A synagogue in Owensboro, Kentucky is preparing to hold services for the High Holy Days that begin at sundown on Oct. 2. 

The synagogue was built in 1877 by 13 founding families. There are currently seven member families, as well as a few non-members who participate.

The effort to keep the synagogue functioning is led by two Jewish members who open the doors for a Friday evening study session. Through those open doors have come several non-Jews drawn to the Jewish teachings.

“Come let us welcome the Sabbath. May its radiance illumine our hearts as we kindle these tapers,” said synagogue President Sandy Bugay, as she recently lit the candles that mark that start of the Jewish Sabbath that begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday.

Bugay led the Hebrew blessing for the half-dozen people gathered around a table in a meeting room at the synagogue:

Washington University

Degrees from Yale, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Harvard are Rabbi Pamela Barmash's academic credentials as a professor of Hebrew Bible at Washington University in St. Louis. Barmash speaks at 4 PM Thursday, February 27 in Freed Curd Auditorium for the 2014 Social Work Lecture Series. She was a fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. She is on the Committee of Jewish Law and Standards for Conservative Judaism and has served as Rabbi for a Massachusetts Temple. Kate Lochte speaks with Rabbi Barmash ahead of her presentation.


Conflict and uncertainty can make life difficult for minorities in the United States.  As we’ve seen, events of the last decade have led some to be suspicious of American Moslems.  This isn’t new in our history.  During the U.S. Civil War, it was Jewish Americans who came under suspicion.  Adding to existing prejudices were broad accusations of trading with Confederates and undermining the Union.  Things came to a head in December 1862 when U.S. Major General, and future President, Ulysses S.