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Letter to the Editor: On anniversary of Gloucester temple fire, let’s also remember Jacqueline S. Paulson, and Maurice and Anna Dancour

On behalf of the Paulson family, I am writing this letter to the editor in response to the Nov. 30 article, “From ashes to joy: Gloucester temple greets Hanukkah.”
 We have been residents of Rockport for more than 50 years. While our family is from New York City, we’ve always been fond of Rockport and Gloucester. I would like to add a few facts that were left out in this article.

Several months after Temple Ahavat Achim burned down 10 years ago, I received an urgent phone call from the late Maurice Dancour, a long time Rockport friend of our family and a pillar of the synagogue. He was pleading to me to contact my brother and explain the struggle raising money to rebuild the temple. The first thing I asked Maurice was, “Why don’t you call him yourself?” And Maurice said, “Some members have tried, but your brother is very busy and didn’t take our calls.” Maurice and his wife Anna were very kind to our mother Jacqueline; Maurice especially within the temple. So, I told Maurice on the phone that day, “For you Maurice, I will make the call to my brother John. I’ll fill him in on everything and have him accept the call from you or the fundraising team.”

From that point on, my brother John was the lead donor to rebuild the temple. And in honor of our mother, Temple Ahavat Achim officially added “The Jacqueline S. Paulson Center” to the entrance of the synagogue.

As we celebrate the ten-year anniversary story of the Temple, let us not forget Maurice and Anna, and Maurice’s plea. And let us not forget that without Jackie Paulson from Rockport, there may never have been the most beautiful state-of-the-art synagogue in Cape Ann.

William Paulson, New York, NY

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