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One of the newest projects for WMF's Jewish Heritage Program is the development of a comprehensive conservation plan, leading to a hands-on restoration, for the <a href="/project/keneseth-eliyahoo-synagogue">Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue </a>in Mumbai, India. There are currently around 3,500 Jews in Mumbai and three synagogues in the area. Keneseth Eliyahoo is the second-oldest synagogue of the three, named in honor of Eliyahoo Sassoon, the son of the founder of the Sassoon dynasty in India.
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Blog post | April 27, 2010

Maya Marvels

After a short flight to Flores, the main city in Pet&eacute;n, Guatemala, archaeologist Vilma Fialko and I drove to the site of Naranjo to inspect the conservation work carried out at the Hieroglyph Stair Structure, thought to be an astronomic observatory associated with Reina VI Cielo, the iconic queen who ruled this Maya city between A.D. 682 and 741.
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I landed in Guatemala City and headed for the historic center to meet the Friends of La Merced, a private group working with the Ministry of Culture in the rehabilitation of a religious complex completed in 1813. The neighborhood of La Merced has retained the historic character and charming low scale of 19th-century Guatemala.
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Blog post | April 15, 2010

Fire Damages Watch-Listed Russborough House

I visited <a href="/project/russborough">Russborough House</a>, a 2010 Watch site, on March 22nd, following the news that a fire had severely damaged the west wing of the house. At the time of the fire, the west wing was in the process of being renovated internally for use as vacation apartments.
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At the far end of a long, narrow commercial street in the Mattancherry section of Kochi (formerly known as Cochin), in the southern Indian state of Kerala, is <a href="/project/paradesi-synagogue">Paradesi Synagogue</a>. This remarkable building is the oldest synagogue in India and the British Commonwealth. It's also the only remaining active synagogue in Kochi, which for over a thousand years had a thriving Jewish population and seven houses of worship.
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Blog post | February 24, 2010

Mission to Port-au-Prince

Following the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, WMF Program Director for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Norma Barbacci traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and reports that scores of monumental public buildings, including the Government Palace, as well as many of the most important churches, lay in ruins.
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Blog post | February 18, 2010

Mission to Santo Domingo and Jacmel

The aftershocks of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12 were still being felt three weeks later when, from February 3 to 6, 2010, WMF Program Director for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Norma Barbacci, joined an international mission to Santo Domingo and Jacmel.
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Blog post | February 12, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

As the people of Haiti recover from this catastrophe, WMF is committed to helping in recovery efforts, bringing our expertise in disaster response to this devastated country. We will be coordinating our work in Haiti with HELP (Haitian Education & Leadership Program), the group that nominated the Gingerbread Houses of Port-au-Prince to the 2010 Watch.
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Blog post | February 03, 2010

A Nice Day For A Ride Along The Merritt Parkway

I lucked out when I scheduled my ride on the <a href="/project/bridges-merritt-parkway">Merritt Parkway</a> on a perfectly sunny, clear, cold day in early January. Jill Smyth, the Director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy (MPC), picked me up at the Stamford train station and we began our visit with a drive to the southern gateway.
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Blog post | December 21, 2009

Climbing the Blue Mosque’s Minaret

Have you ever climbed a minaret? Admittedly, it can be scary to perch on a small balcony, over 100 feet above the ground. Next question: have you ever climbed a minaret FROM THE OUTSIDE?
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