When I give a tour of our historic 1876 synagogue, I always discuss the entirety of the building's history -- its use as a synagogue, a Greek Orthodox church, the three Protestant churches, and the retail stores that have called this red brick building home.
So you could imagine my excitement last week when a member of the archives committee of St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral called me and asked if their group could come visit the building. St. Sophia's used the sanctuary between 1910 and 1919, after Adas Israel had moved out. So, of course I said yes, we'd love to have the group come down!
Six members of the archives committee visited Monday morning. Sadly, all of the early records of St. Sophia's were lost to fire, so the committee is trying to fill in holes in their congregation's history. So, I showed them the pictures we have and told them the stories we know. They also told me some of their congregation's history, giving me new information that I can now use in tours.
My colleague Lisa took the below photo of the group standing on the bimah at the front (pardon the tarp on the chair -- we're replacing our windows). When the sanctuary housed St. Sophia's, the same space served as the altar. The only picture we have from the time of St. Sophia's shows a priest -- whom our visitors identified as Right Reverend Ioakim Alexopoulos -- standing in the same spot!
All in all, it was quite the jovial gathering -- a homecoming of sorts.