A Purim Painting comes home

From Generation to Generation

On Tuesday we received a visit from two local women and a painting…and the painting stayed. Martha Pierce and Norrie Epstein were little girls at TOS. Their grandfather, Louis Epstein, was President of TOS and their grandmother, Martha Epstein, was the first woman Vice President of the congregation. Three generations before that were relatives who were founding members of the Temple. Louis, it turns out, was an amateur painter and created an exquisite rendering of scenes from the Purim story.

A few months ago, TOS Vice President Susan Elsbree put me in contact with Martha. The family was interested in donating the Purim painting to the Temple; were we interested? You bet we were!

Memories upon memories

Martha and I began a correspondence dealing with the logistics of bringing her grandfather’s Purim painting home to Ohabei Shalom. Along the way, Martha brought Norrie into the conversation – and I got to hear the stories of them parading around the social hall as Queen Esther in old wedding dresses, scanning the bookplates in the prayer books trying to spot names they recognized, and hearing the glorious voice of Cantor Zimmer!

Late Tuesday afternoon as we were preparing for the pre-Purim Party, Martha and Norrie came by for a stroll through their childhood synagogue…and their grandfather’s Purim painting came home.