Santa Rosa synagogue displays AIDS Quilt

Several hundred people, some with tears in their eyes, visited Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa on June 14 for the first display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Sonoma County in 20 years.

Inside the Shomrei Torah sanctuary, a few of the 75 AIDS quilts that were on display

Among the 75 quilts were three new ones made by temple members Marlene Stein, Sue Smith and Linda Bornstein to remember their loved ones. The new pieces soon will join more than 48,000 other squares that comprise the AIDS Memorial Quilt, each honoring a person lost to the disease.

The program, held during LGBT Pride Month, was organized by the temple’s social action committee and inspired by a congregational trip to the South last year led by Rabbi George Gittleman. The travelers visited the Names Foundation in Atlanta, where all the squares are archived and stored.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was started in 1987 by San Francisco AIDS activist Cleve Jones, who created the first panel in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman.