Artists Intention by Peter Schlossman
In the most general terms, the artwork for the windows was designed to be an abstract representation of the parting of the Red Sea through which our ancestors crossed to reach their freedom.
By not merely depicting the crossing, but by involving the entire congregation in the activity during every service, I had hoped to create a stronger sense and awareness of the miracle.
As each congregant sits, forward facing, between two towering walls of water, following our Rabbi, Cantor and other Temple leaders as they lead us toward spiritual freedom and toward a continuing and growing sense of hope, each member is consistently reminded of the long history of our people, the arduous road traveled and ever present drive, forward, toward our future. It is a future of optimism, driven by faith and sustained by hope. I hope that these windows, in different small ways, help to complement Beth Tikvah as it strives to truly be the “House of Hope”.
The technical aspects of the design and construction of this set of six windows reflect the sense of inspiration, cooperation, encouragement and ability of this congregation to beat all odds.
While the windows appear as a series of triangular units, three on each side of the sanctuary, they were designed as two walls of “water” moving from the rear of the sanctuary toward the Bimah. The lead lines move from panel to panel and from group to group. Some lines actually begin in the rear panels and move through all the panels to the front groups.
Once one long wall was designed that same design was then mirrored and modified. Removing and replacing elements. Accentuating some forms and balancing those with others so that both sides, the left and the right walls, would be visually balanced with similar elements but not exactly the same. The triangular shapes were then used almost as cookie cutters to place focus on the six separate groups of panels.
This gives the project on the whole a strong sense of movement and continuity, thematically and visually, but does not rely on a “bookend” appearance which tends to “cheapen” the subject matter and lessen the impact on the congregant
The temperament of the walls changes from the rear to the front to reflect the encouraging nature of the water, which seems to me to be the hand of G-D, as it moved us toward freedom and safety – toward higher ground and dry land. All the while the rear comes crashing down upon our pursuers and enslavers protecting us from further persecution.
While all panels make strong use of the same blue water colored glasses, the panels in the rear are more turbulent and contain spatters of blood red and heavily “seeded” glass (seeds are bubbles introducing during the blowing of the glass sheets and vary from light to heavy) and seem more violent.
The transitional panels, the two center panels (one on each side of the congregation) are a calm and steady segue between the rear panels and the panels at the front.
The front panels appear to be gently pushing us to safety and to a dry and lusher existence. They contain colors of the land and life with ambers and greens.
Most of the glass used in the fabrication of the windows are a full antique glass, the colors and style of which are no longer produced. It is safe to say that we purchased from the glass manufacturer most of the glass that was still available. The color is rich and clear and has enormous depth.
The glass itself, being mouth blown glass, is unique in every way with its random bubbles and striations or “flaws” as they are sometimes known. And, while there may be similar colors still being produced in a similar manner, Beth Tikvah has the last of this glass that was available, making our windows completely unique.
Some of the other types of glass that were used were used to imply a stronger sense of ground, such as the mottled opal/ambers in the front panels. They are also of an “art glass” type in contrast to the full antiques used else where to better match the type of stained glass that is used in the Ark doors.
Hopefully the over all effect is to provide a sense of continuity in color and texture, tying in the new windows with the existing while maintaining a separate theme and sense of individuality.
Our Computer Lab / Classroom #8 Renovation
Our Computer Lab / Classroom #8 was renovated by Zach Bakal as an Eagle Scout project in Sept 2007. Read the story and view the pictures.
Summer of Change . . 2007
Summer 2007 was busy at our building and our grounds. Check out the details and the before and after pictures.
Our Sanctuary's Stained Glass Windows
When you join in prayer in Beth Tikvah's sanctuary, the stained glass windows that surround you let you experience a Biblical miracle within our "House of Hope."