Story: Religion and society

Jewish ark curtain (1st of 4)

Jewish ark curtain

This silk velvet curtain hung in the Wellington synagogue on the Terrace until the building was demolished in 1929. The curtain covered the Holy Ark where the Scrolls of Law resided. It was presented to the synagogue in 1895 by Henry Phillips. The embroidered Hebrew lettering reads: 'In honour and for beautification – Shruga ben Yaacov 5655'. 5655 in the Jewish calendar is 1895 in the Christian calendar, and Shruga ben Yaacov was probably Henry Phillips's Hebrew name. New Zealand's Jewish community was never large, but it included people who were important in the economic life of the colony.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: PC004129

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How to cite this page:

John Stenhouse, 'Religion and society - Church adherence and attendance, 1840–1920', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 September 2022)

Story by John Stenhouse, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018