Southfield (CW50) – There is over 350 years of Jewish history in American. Thousands of stories to be read, lessons to be learned, and moments in history that define a culture and its people’s generations of heritage.

At Temple Beth El, a team of archivists oversee the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin Archives and Anna S. and Meyer L. Prentis Memorial Library. In these archives, the history of Michigan’s Jewish roots can be found, and one archivist wanted more people to experience these stories themselves. During the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial lockdown, Temple Beth El’s Director of Cultural Resources, Laura Gottlieb, saw an opportunity to create a social media series using the archives. Gottlieb created “Out of the Box” as a way to bring the stories within the archives to life. Her series made Jewish history more accessible to a generation of people who consume content through the internet. The series evolved into a show where Gottlieb and her team dive into a story each episode, showing historical photos, documents, objects, and expressing the importance of each story and the lessons that can be learned from them.

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In her role at Beth El, Gottlieb works to bring Jewish stories and history to life through other programs, lectures, workshops, and book clubs. Her passion for the Metro Detroit Jewish community is seen in her work across the community. She is a NEXTGen Detroit board member as well as a committee member for Tamarack Camps. She also teaches high school students at Temple Beth El’s religious school (Masa), volunteers for JARC and hosts OneTable Shabbat dinners.

Gottlieb was named to The Detroit Jewish News’ 36 Under 36 in 2022. Her work in the community has been recognized by its members, and her continued work will help build a community filled with others with a similar passion for Jewish history, culture, and heritage.

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Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Laura Gottlieb, Director of Cultural Resources at Temple Beth El

Gottlieb joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about how she took her job in the temple’s archives and brought the stories within its pages to life through social media.

Explore episodes of Out of the Box on Temple Beth El’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/tbeonline

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