The powerful emotions invoked in the music were a staple of the revivalists attempts to galvanize the latent Christian population, strengthen Protestant Christianity’s authority, and bolster church membership.
On the ground floor of Long Hall at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary sits the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology. Despite its small size, the museum contains a large variety of artifacts from the Near East, including a 300-year-old Yemenite Torah scroll.
The story of the B’nai Israel Torah scrolls which have been adopted by Adat Shalom is representative of a larger narrative about Pittsburgh Jews. In the years after World War II, the suburbs offered middle-class Americans the opportunity to start a new life outside of the nation’s urban centers. Upwardly-mobile American Jews flocked to the suburbs in the middle of the twentieth century and faced the challenge of rebuilding their faith community outside of the urban core. The preservation of the B’nai Israel scrolls (as well as other Judaica) indicates the determination of the community to rebuild, and the dedication to their faith, tradition, and roots.