Parochet (Ark curtain)
Temple Israel commissioned Israeli artist Galya Rosenfeld to create the Ark curtain for the Sterling Ridge building. Rosenfeld crafted a dual-layer curtain, with the outer curtain made of colorful laser-cut fabric pieced together in a repeating Magen David (Star of David) pattern and the inner curtain made of sheer fabric printed with symbols evoking the major Jewish holidays.
Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) – Sanctuary
Temple Israel chose Kansas City artist James Woodfill to create the Eternal Light for the sanctuary. He created a modular light that seamlessly blends the light into the bimah wall. Woodfill says the design “lets the light simply emanate from the wall.”
Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) – Chapel
For the chapel’s Eternal Light, Temple Israel selected another Kansas City artist, Linda Lighton, who says she was inspired by a word cloud congregants generated to express the feelings they wanted the Eternal Light to evoke. Her design of a translucent porcelain flower hangs from the ceiling beside the ark.
Hashkiveinu – windowsMichigan artist Lynne Avadenka was tasked with bringing Hebrew passages from the prayer Hashkiveinu to life as a graphical representation on the sanctuary’s clerestory windows. Avadenka created hand-drawn excerpts of the prayer chosen by the worship committee. One passage – “Grant, O God, that we lie down in peace and raise up, our Guardian, to life renewed. Spread over us the shelter of Your peace.” – can be read inside the sanctuary, while two other passages can be read from outside the building – “For You, God, watch over us and deliver us. For You, God, are gracious and merciful.”
Hashkeveinu – music
For its dedication, Temple Israel commissioned New York-based Cantor Jonathan Comisar to compose a new version of the Hashkiveinu prayer. Titled “Hashkiveinu: A Shelter of Peace,” this interpretation is scored for cantor and choir, as well as violin, cello, clarinet and flute. Comisar says his goal was to “make this not only fitting for a prayer but fitting for the grandeur of a new synagogue.”
Aron Hakodesh (Ark) – chapel
The ark in the chapel, which was designed by Rabbi Sidney Brooks, was taken from the Cass Street building’s Livingston Chapel. It represents hope after the Holocaust with its branch and bud motif. The text on the ark door reads, “And the surviving remnant which is escaped of the House of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.”
Stained Glass Windows
Local artist Bill Hammon was commissioned to execute the stained glass windows that were affixed in the windows of the sanctuary at the Cass Street building. The windows now sit in the hallway of the current building, opposite the Yahrzeit wall.
The windows suggest the bright colors of morning and the softer shades of evening, recalling this passage from the Creation story, “And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And it was evening and it was morning, one day.”