Brother Shai Afsai, in an article in the March/April 2013 "Rhode Island Freemason" entitled "Redwood Lodge and Temple Beth-El", wrote that the "[F]ormation of Redwood Lodge, in addition to helping unite the Jewish Freemasons of Providence, served an integrationist function, linking the Sons of Israel and David with an established, respected and largely Protestant fraternity".
Today, Redwood Lodge can be proud to say that it has accomplished this and more. It has brought together members of the Jewish faith, Catholic and Christian faith, Muslim faith and even the Buddhist religion. This inclusionary nature is but one of the things we can take pride in.
Additionally, I find it particularly meaningful that our lodge itself is named after a man of sterling integrity and broad mindedness, Abraham Redwood. Having read the history of Redwood Lodge by Brother Louis Baruch Rubinstein, I am humbled over how many men have walked through the doors of our great lodge who have distinguished themselves as leaders not only within our fraternity but within our community.
On January 9, 2017, Redwood Lodge will host its annual visitation by the District Deputy Grand Master of the Metro District. This year, this visitation will be very special. This year, the District Deputy visiting Redwood Lodge will be Redwood's own Secretary, Past Master and Past Grand Marshall, Gary S. Kaufman.
Having distinguished himself as a leader in Freemasonry in Rhode Island, R.W. Gary Kaufman was selected several years ago to begin the long journey to the Grand East. This January 9th, R.W. Gary Kaufman's journey will finally bring him home to Redwood Lodge. It is a day to show our support for Gary and a day to show our pride in Redwood Lodge.
R.W. Gary Kaufman is following in the footsteps of those distinguished Redwood Lodge brothers who have been honored to served Freemasonry in Rhode Island as its Grand Master -M.W. Bernard Abedon, M.W. Malcolm Bromberg, M.W. Arnold Wasserman and M.W. Richard Sokoll. This visitation is a special moment for Gary in his journey to the Grand East. It is also a great and proud moment for each and every member of Redwood Lodge. It is a day to celebrate the success of one of our brothers who has shown dedication and commitment to Redwood Lodge and to the principles of Freemasonry.
My Brothers, please make a special effort to join me, the Officers and Brethren of Redwood Lodge, along with Brothers from around the Metro District and Rhode Island on January 9, 2017 as we welcome our Brother, R.W. Gary Kaufman to his home lodge for his special visitation. We will have a unique program that night which has been organized by our Junior Stewart, Roy Gessman. In addition, Redwood's dinner that evening will be its Annual "Deli Night", put together by W. Andy Sholes and W. Howie Bromberg. PLEASE make sure to make a reservation if you plan on attending as this is one of Redwood's most popular dinners.
Many of us wear our Masonic pride in the form of a ring on our finger or a decal on our car. January 9, 2017 will be a day when we can show pride in our lodge. For Redwood, it will be more than just a visitation by a District Deputy Grand Master. It will be a celebration for a dedicated and faithful brother who has shown that by applying the principles of Freemasonry as taught in Redwood Lodge, one can scale the heights of the craft to its very pinnacle. As the Master of our great lodge, I look forward to welcoming R.W. Gary Kaufman and his suite and I look forward to you all joining Gary on what promises to be a very special day for him and for Redwood Lodge.
Robert T. Goff