Shaarey Tphiloh ark, Portland, ca. 1949
Rabbi Morris Bekritsky, who began his service at Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh in 1948, was responsible for a new vestry ark at the synagogue at 151 Newbury Street in Portland.
The ark was dedicated in March 1949. Along with the new ark, the congregation rewired, painted and paneled the vestry to show off the dark mahogany ark. Much of the cost of the work was paid by families of two Jewish veterans of World War II, which ended in 1945.
Jacob Citrin designed the ark and supervised its construction.
Pinchik Zimelman, age 4, the son of the synagogue's cantor, Samuel Zimelman, sang at the dedication.
The ark is the most beautiful and central place of worship in the synagogue. When the Newbury Street building was sold in the 1970s, the ark was taken apart and given to a congregation in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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