Synagogue on the Iron Range to Shine Again

June 23, 2008

Author: Angie Riebe

Source: The Star Tribune/Mesabi Daily News

Nearly 100 years ago, the B'nai Abraham Synagogue opened its doors in Virginia.

For decades, it was home to services and numerous commemorations -- many birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and bar mitzvahs were celebrated there. The synagogue was a gathering spot, a community center.

It is now the only remaining synagogue on the Iron Range.

But thanks to support from the community and a nonprofit group dedicated to its restoration, it will again serve as a place to gather.

Work has been underway for several years to convert the building into a community center for the area -- where everything from meetings and school functions can be held -- as well as a small museum to tell the story of the Jewish presence and contributions to the Iron Range.