Beth Sholom Synagogue
“I would like to see the covering, in stylized form of course, represent the hands of the ancient priests, outstretched in blessing… My thought is this: Imagine two hands together in prayer. Then, pivoting them on the thumb and first (index) fingers, revolve them up until both hands are in one plane. This will give you the triangular effect of the present covering.” - Rabbi Cohen
Philadelphia was the original home of Beth Sholom, a a Conservative Jewish congregation named “house of peace” due to the concluding of the first World War. A move to Elkins Park (Pennsylvania) began after the second World War, and Rabbi Cohen persuaded Frank Lloyd Wright to accept a commission for the design of a synagogue in late 1953. Wright later described the building as a “luminous Mount Sinai.”
The synagogue was dedicated on September 20th, 1959. It is recognized by the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as receiving the distinction of being added as a National Historic Landmark in 2007.
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