This past Saturday I filmed a tent revival in War, West Virginia, led by Brother Steve Jones. The service was very lively and drew people in from across McDowell County. I am interviewing Jones this Wednesday to get a better understanding of his mission and following up with several of the attendees to talk about their experience.
Though the Jewish Community never had more than 15 to 30 Jewish families, they maintained a strong Sisterhood and Congregation that participated fully and enthusiastically in the life of the town of Welch and the surrounding area. Early Jewish families in Welch were: Effron, Herzbrun, Levinson, Lopinsky, Samath, Solins, and Talmage. And early Jewish settler and founder of the synagogue, Josef Herzbrun, served on the Welch City Council and was Director of the First National Bank in Welch. Congregation Emanuel ceased to exist ca. the 1980’s as the Jewish population dwindled to only a few families. The ornate ark, pulpit and reader’s table and pews from the former Congregation Emanuel of Welch, were purchased by the Greenwich Reform Synagogue in Greenwich, Connecticut for use in their new sanctuary. A fitting tribute and place where the history of the Welch congregation can live on.