synagogue stained glass

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synagogue stained glass

anshe sfard synagogue stained glass In 2012, I had the opportunity to design and create two stained glass windows for Anshe Sfard Synagogue in Akron, Ohio. The stained glass windows are located on either side of the Holy Ark in the main sanctuary.

At the top of both window is an arch that defines the double tablets that symbolize the Ten Commandments. This theme is carried down through the entire artwork by the Hebrew numerals 1 through 5 down the center of the right window and 6 through 10 down the center of the left window, an easily recognizable visualization of the commandments themselves.

Although these two windows are separated by about 15 feet, they are tied together into one artwork by the open Torah scroll that spans both windows
(done in brown glasses).

The window on the left depicts representations of Jewish Mitzvot, or good deeds. These include (from top to bottom) a Tzedakah box for collecting donations for charity; a Mezuzah containing the quintessential Jewish prayer that hangs on the door-frames of homes and other buildings; Sabbath Candles; Tefillin, which are small boxes containing Torah readings that are worn during religious services; and a Siddur or Jewish prayerbook.

synagogue stained glass detail The window on the right depicts representations of Jewish holidays. These include (from top to bottom) a menorah - or candelabra - used during Hanukkah; two hamentashen or pastries eaten during Purim; a lulav (tied bundle of fronds) and an etrog (a lemon-like fruit), which are representations of the harvest and used during the holiday of Sukkot: a Megilah, or small scroll containing the story of Esther and read aloud on the holiday of Purim; a Shofar, or ram's horn, blown during religious services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur; and a matzah or unleavened bread eaten during Passover.

This synagogue stained glass artwork was commissioned while the entire synagogue was undergoing an expansion and remodel. The Rabbi wanted the stained glass in place for the High Holy Days even though the rest of the main sanctuary was not fully completed. As with all of my large commissions, I give the clients the option of paying for insured shipping (and installing the stained glass without my presence) or paying slightly more for me to deliver and install the windows. In this case the Rabbi chose the latter, and I was happy to drive the windows to Akron and put them in myself. I always like when that happens as I get to meet the people for whom I have created such meaningful artworks.

After the renovation was complete, these photographs were taken and sent to me so that I might present them to you.  As with almost all stained glass, the actual windows are much more impressive than they appear in these photos.

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