The tapestry and the stained glass windows stand as visual symbols of the essence of Jewish education at Congregation Beth Shalom.
A Quilted Tapestry Created in Loving Memory of Rabbi Kenneth Bromberg
“The heavens belong to the Lord but the earth He gave over to man.” Psalm 115
Inspired by the above quote from Psalm115, which is included in Hallel, we embarked upon a journey to create a quilted tapestry to enhance our sanctuary and to honor the memory of our rabbi and teacher, Kenneth Bromberg. The tapestry was over three years in the making from the first drawing to the last stitch.
The tapestry brings to life Deuteronomy 8:3 to 10, which describes a good land with streams and springs issuing forth from plains and hills, a land filled with the seven species and a land where we will lack nothing. At the end of the passage, we are asked to give thanks to the Lord for all that He has given us. The Hebrew text is quilted into the background of the two tallitot. The tallit on the left was worn by Rabbi Bromberg and the one on the right served as a congregational tallit. Their tzitiziyot were used to outline the quotation from the Psalms.
The seven Biblical species, grapes, figs, dates, olives, wheat, barley and pomegranate, are symbolized in the tapestry. The lulav (date palm, myrtle and willow) and etrog are also represented. The sunset on the mountain and it’s reflection on the water and the flowers, birds, butterflies and stones on the river bank adorn the tapestry. All were embellished with beads, buttons, metallic threads and special trims.
The materials used in the design of the tapestry are the tallitot, silk, cotton, suede, ultra suede, tulle, embroidery floss, yearn and cotton and silk threads. Many different techniques were used to create the tapestry including fabric painting and dying, embroidery, beading, appliqué, quilting and crochet. The tapestry carries on some of the design and symbolism in the stained glass windows. For example, the biblical quotations in the tapestry and the center window are in Torah font.
12 Tribes of Israel Banners
This new artwork was dedicated September 20, 2014. Created by Randi Kraus and Nan Shane, it was designed to enhance our sanctuary. The art work is part of a series of banners representing the 12 Tribes of Israel. Here are the first 7 of the series, which can be viewed along the rear wall of the main sanctuary.
Stained Glass Windows
All our stained glass windows were inspired by Rabbi Kenneth Bromberg who worked closely with Len Neff, the artist and craftsman. The six windows in our sanctuary were relocated in 1992 from the earlier sanctuary.
The window above the bima – The Torah Scroll – was dedicated in honor of the new sanctuary and contains a verse from the Torah.
The Library window bears the phrase – Make Books Your Companions – which was Judah ibn Tibbon’s ethical will to his son.