Today’s special episode is hosted by Gideon the Free-quent Flyer.
[Cold open] Harraseeket Inn holiday buffets: https://www.harraseeketinn.com/dine-1
Hello, and welcome to The Manifesto with Gideon, the Free-quent Flyer, on the Milenomics Podcast Network. I’m Gideon, the Free-quent Flyer, and I’m joined today by Ted Fleischaker, board member of Portland, Maine’s Etz Chaim Synagogue and publisher of the Up Portland newspaper. Ted, welcome to the Manifesto.
- Etz Chaim: https://etzchaim-portland.org/
- Up Portland: http://www.upportland.com/
- Micucci’s Grocery Store: https://www.facebook.com/MicucciGrocery/
- Anywhere else people can find you online/in Maine/conferences, etc?
[1:30] Jewish Community in Maine
- Etz Chaim: India and Congress ST, Portland, ME.
- Services, Torah Study, Museum.
- Fire during COVID
- What kind of renovations were required? Discovered original (1921) wiring.
- How was the community served while the synagogue was closed?
- History of the building
- Location of a boarding house for Irish and Italian immigrants that burned down in the fire of 1866
- History of the Jewish community in Maine
- Nearby 1904 Synagogue split in 1920’s over whether to use Yiddish or English during services.
- English speakers spent $50k remodeling present Etz Chaim building.
- Mid-1970’s, only 15 members left in congregation. Sell the building, hang on, or merge with another congregation?
- Museum foundation took over the building, congregation rents sanctuary back for services
- Etz Chaim changes from orthodox to egalitarian. 3 services per week: Monday Orthodox minyan, Friday night reform service, Saturday morning Orthodox service.
- What do Jewish traditions look like today in Portland: how can people find seders, sukkahs, etc if they’re in Portland or Maine for the Holidays?
- Four working synagogues in Portland: Chabad House, Bet Ha’am, Temple Beth El, Etz Chaim
- Surrounding areas: Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Biddeford-Saco, Bath
- Center for Small Town Jewish Life: https://jewishlife.colby.edu/
[20:10] Publishing a local newspaper
- Washington Post Magazine on local journalism: https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/interactive/2021/local-news-deserts-expanding/
- How does Maine support so many local newspapers?
- Up Portland
- Island papers
- Lobster boat papers
- What goes into publishing a daily/weekly/monthly paper? How many printers remain, do papers get shipped in from out of town, USPS, “paper boxes” on the streets? What does it take to manage a dead-tree media distribution company these days?
[36:40] Visiting Portland/Visiting Maine
- For first-time visitors to Portland or to Maine, what recommendations do you have?
- Where to stay?
- Eastland Hotel (The Westin Portland Harborview)
- Where/what to eat?
- What to see?
- Portland headlight in Ft. Williams Park: https://portlandheadlight.com/
- Bar Harbour, Acadia National Park: https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm
- Red’s Eats in Wiscasset – Lobster Roll: https://www.redseatsmaine.com/
- Rock Paper Scissors in Wiscasset: https://www.facebook.com/rockpaperscissorsmaine/
- Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Bush compound
- Fly to Portland or Bangor?
- Portland has more nonstop service, competitive fares
- Where to stay?
[41:54] Quar Question of the Week
- For folks who are thinking of taking a socially-distanced winter getaway in Maine this New Years, what’s your go-to romantic nook in the state?
Thanks again to Ted Fleischaker for joining me today. You’ve been listening to The Manifesto with Gideon, the Free-quent Flyer, on the Milenomics Podcast Network. Goodbye, and good luck.