From the Editor

The humor, of course, springs from the understanding that scholarship can be a heavenly or hellish pursuit, depending on what type of student you are. For Elias Schewel, founder of the eponymous Lynchburg-based furniture company, it was heaven. In fact, Schewel Furniture Company began out of necessity, as Elias struggled to supplement his meager income as the Jewish community’s only rabbinical scholar and teacher. Starting a business was not a goal in and of itself but the byproduct of a higher calling.

In this issue, one of Elias’s grandsons, the former Virginia State Senator Elliot Schewel, presents a short, straightforward history of his family’s nineteenth-century beginnings in America. Without saying a word about it, the story hints at the underpinnings of what would become the Schewel family legacy: an untiring commitment to education, public service, and cultural life demonstrated through the hands-on efforts and philanthropic endeavors of four succeeding generations.

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