The Lost Shul Mural

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In 1910, Chai Adam Synagogue in Burlington, Vermont, brought the Lithuanian folk artist Ben Zion Black to paint its building in the prevalent style of the wooden shuls of Eastern Europe. Decades later, the synagogues in Burlington merged and the Chai Adam building was ultimately converted into apartments. The Black painting was destroyed except for the mural over the ark, which was covered by a wall and forgotten until its re-discovery in 2012.

The Lost Shul Mural is a remnant of a type of synagogue art that was almost obliterated during the Holocaust and may be the only surviving example of its type to adorn an American shul. Now the Burlington Jewish community, led by Ohavei Zedek Synagogue, has taken upon itself the preservation of this gem, protecting it for future generations. For information or to donate, go to