Guest Post: Preservation in My Community
The Lloyd Street Synagogue
Today we are pleased to share this essay, written by Lauren Mitchell, a senior at River Hill High School in Clarksville, MD. Every year the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House holds an essay contest for Maryland high school seniors – this year’s theme was about preservation in the community – and why preservation matters to the writer. Lauren chose to write about our very own Lloyd Street Synagogue and was kind enough to give us permission to share her essay here. Lauren will be attending the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University in the fall. And thank you to the Flag House board member who brought Lauren’s essay to our attention!
Growing up in Maryland taught me the importance of appreciating the history of diversity and culture through the recognition and exploration of all religions and backgrounds. The historic preservation of Lloyd Street Synagogue in Baltimore, Maryland is the ideal representation of how accepting a community can be after being properly educated. These efforts have not only impacted my values and ideals, but they allow me to feel accepted in society as a Jewish youth.
The Lloyd Street Synagogue obtains the intricate story of the Jewish people and their journey towards freedom. The preservation of this Synagogue not only depicts the importance of history but also works to inhibit anti-semitism and all religious discrimination through education. The Lloyd Street Synagogue was the first to be built in Maryland, exemplifying efforts to increase religious acceptance globally. The state of Maryland is acknowledging our history through the preservation of this historic landmark, enforcing that a history of religious discrimination does not repeat itself. Through the preservation of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, I learned how amazing my community is and how driven we all are to create a better future for the next generation.
Due to the vast acceptance of all religions, backgrounds, and cultures in my community, I am not scared to be myself or embrace my religious values. Acknowledging the absent fear of discrimination, I thrived on the executive board of my Jewish youth group and served four six-month board positions. I am grateful to have the freedom to enjoy my religious community and explore countless others, and I plan to continue exploring this community in college through Hillel and other faith-based activities.
This freedom and sense of acceptance have impacted me greatly, and it absolutely catalyzed my beliefs in historic preservation. Before my exploration into the Lloyd Street Synagogue, I already knew that historic preservation was important but I did not truly understand why. After personally seeing the effect of historic preservation, I discovered how extremely necessary this tactic is to enforce a positive community of educated and accepting citizens.