Oct 18, 2017  ::  28 Tishri 5778
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Our Art Treasures - Tour our Temple

Our Art Treasures

Our Temple family is fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful works of art collected over generations.

THE CALL OF THE SHOFAR
By Ben Shan

The basic theme of this exquisite mosaic is taken from the Book of Malachi (2:10), “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us all?” The masterpiece interprets the call to brotherhood, an important tenant of Judaism. The five hands represent the Races of Man, all equal stature, all facing the same direction, all equal in the sight of God and Man.  Enveloped by flames, the powerful outstretched hand symbolized the spirit of God calling us by the Shofar to perform this duty.

SEVEN DAYS OF CREATION
By Laurie Gross Studios

The textile panels as seen in The Temple are hung side-by-side to collectively tell a story of the seven days of creation The tapestries are hung reading from right to left as Hebrew is traditionally read with day one of creation on the far right and the seventh day of creation on the far left. Click Here and Click Here to enlarge.

"Seven Days of Creation"

The biblical "Seven Days of Creation" are being glorified in a Jacquard loomed tapestry to be permanently displayed in The Temple.

The Temple commissioned Laurie Gross Studios of Santa Barbara, Ca., an award winning, internationally recognized leader in the production of spiritually based artwork, to create seven paneled Judaic tapestries for its sanctuary choir wall.

Measuring a total of 30 feet in width and 10 feet in height, the textile panels are hung side-by-side to collectively tell a story of the seven days of creation.

Contributing members of the Zeitlin â~@~S Averbuch Families who donated funds to support the "Seven Days of Creation" tapestries in memory of Martin Zeitlin included: his wife, Shirley; his sons, Manuel and Â| Â| Janice Zeitlin, Bruce and Beth Zeitlin, and Jeff Zeitlin; his brother, Barry and Linda Zeitlin; Shirleyâ~@~Ys brothers, Jerry and Arlene Averbuch, and Larry and Sandy Averbuch; and Shirley's mother, Juliet Averbuch.

Read More About "Seven Days of Creation"
Read the Press Release
Read About the Artists
Read About Martin Zeitlin

MEMORIAL GATE
By Raymond Katz

Katz is, very likely, the most genuinely Jewish of all contemporary American artists. As in many of his works, Raymond Katz makes use of Hebrew letters and words, converging them into symbols that transcend time and place yet are meaningful to all peoples everywhere. Click Here to view the Memorial Gate.

SABBATH MENORAH

Each Friday we light the bronze Menorah to represent the unity of family with God. The free-flowing design inspires joy and celebration of Shabbat. Click Here to view the Menorah.

TORAH COVERS
By Claire Kahane

These Torah covers were designed by Nashville artist, Claire Kahane, and volunteers from The Temple needle-pointed her designs. Each Torah cover was given meaning in its representation.  The largest of the Torahs was finished with the Hebrew, Ahavah, meaning “love.”  The remaining smaller covers were also individualized by their Hebrew words, Emet, meaning “truth;” Tzedakah, meaning “charity;” Mishpat, meaning “righteousness;” Shalom, meaning “peace;” Simcha, meaning “happiness.” Click Here to view the Torah Covers.

STAR OF LOVE
By Yaacov Agam

The four dimensional graphic can be rearranged by the viewer, thus becoming a partner with the artist. Click Here to view the Star of Love.

Exodus
By Kopel Gurwin

This banner, made of hand woven wool with appliquĂ©d felt, represents the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea. Using three circles to depict the Exodus, Gurwin’s expression is captured in a colorful and delightful work of art. Click Here to view Exodus.

POMEGRANATE GATE
By Oded Halahmy

This sculpture reflects the artist’s Middle Eastern heritage.  Halahmy uses forms and shapes he knew in his youth.  The Pomegranate represents prosperity, fertility and love. Click Here to view the Pomegranate Gate

MEMORIAL
By Reuben Leaf

The "Memorial Menorah" was dedicated to the young men who lost their lives during World War II. Click Here to view The Memorial Menorah.

THE ETERNAL LIGHTS

The Temple is fortunate to be able to display these uniquely designed pieces. Each piece is locate in a sacred place and bring a sense of awe and comfort to the viewer. Click Here to view the Eternal Lights.

Ner Tamid (Eternal Light)--Sanctuary
By Martin Blank

Martin Blank is an independent artist producing works and major commissions for contemporary art. He works mainly in glass. He grew up near Boston and learned about glassblowing at the Rhode Island School of Design. He then studied and worked with Dale Chihuly, the famed Seattle based glass sculptor.

The Ner Tamid is made of pieces of glass in the form of flames glowing with light. This active Eternal Light represents God's presence all around us.  The piece is 56" from ceiling to bottom of light. Click Here to view the Ner Tamid.

JUDAICA COLLECTION

These ceremonial objects have enriched our celebrations through history. Click Here to view examples of this collection.

STAINED GLASS
By Barney Zeitz

Zeitz uses glass in a painterly way-pushing layers.  His cut pieces flow into each other and are bonded to glass without leaded confines.

CHAPEL ARK DOORS AND TORAH COVERS
By Laurie Gross Studios

The door design is sheet bronze cut on water jet and represents the Tree of Life. This delicate open work allows viewers to look through the doors and see the beauty of the outdoor trees and the natural world.

In Hebrew the words Etz Hayyim mean Tree of Life. Jews refer to the Torah as The Tree of Life.   This delicate, open work allows the viewer to look through the beauty of the natural world.  The Torahs appear to float creating the illusion that the Torah, the Tree of Life is a tree among trees.

The intricate shape of the tree branches contains the three Hebrew words that mean Tree of Life. Look for these shapes within the tree branches on the Ark doors.  Final Tzadee (tree is Etz); Shin (Almighty); Ayin. Click Here to view the Chapel Doors.

The Torah covers also contain the tree branch design.

Stained Glass Windows for Sanctuary
By, David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback

David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback have been professional stained glass artists, working in Northern California, since 1978. Their designs reflect a commitment to and reverence for their rich Judaic culture. Highly symbolic in content, their windows integrate spiritual imagery and midrashic concepts, creating unified compositions which nourish the mind as well as the eye.

"Gan Sholom" or "The Garden of Peace" - 20' x 24' composition consisting of 57 panels of antique and sandblast etched flashed glass.

The name references both Gan Eden, the original garden in the creation story, as well as the concept of Sholom or peace, as exemplified in the historic name of our congregation, Congregation Ohabai Sholom.

The two exterior panels of glass highlight the white blossoms of the almond tree which was the first tree to blossom in the Jewish people's ancestral homeland of Israel. Thus, it maintains the ancient connection of Jews everywhere, including here, with The Promised Land.

All four panels contain ten doves that circle the center of the composition. They are the ancient Biblical symbol of the promise of peace. The doves’ circular pattern of motion adds a spiritual dynamism to the piece, creating the image of a constant interaction between heaven and earth.

The third chapter of the Book of Proverbs includes the verse, "It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it and all of its supporters are happy." The tree of life refers to the Torah and our windows contain the verse following the "Tree of Life": "Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace." The paths of the doves of peace in the windows of Gan Sholom form the bridge between heaven and earth.

Click Here to view our beautiful windows. Click Here for another view.

THE SCULPTURE GARDEN

The Sculpture Garden contains many beautiful works of art. Click on the links to view our Sculpture Garden. View 1, View 2, View 3, View 4.

THE FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR COLOR LITHOGRAPHS
By Chaim Gross

The artist celebrates and commemorates each of our holidays in his twelve lively watercolor prints. Click on these links to view a few of the lithographs. View 1, View 2.

THE MIRACLE
By Jacques Lipchitz

This ingenious bronze sculpture, the palm tree whose trunk has opened like the tables of the Law symbolizes the theory, “as Man upholds the Law, so the Law upholds Man.”
Click Here to view The Miracle.

REPLICAS OF THE BRONFMAN ARCHEALOGICAL MUSEUM

These articles are contained in the display cases located in the entry hall of The Temple.  Pieces dated from the Neolithic Period 6004 B.C. E. to the Second Temple Period 57 B.C.E.-70 C. E. are represented.  A complete description may be obtained from the Temple Library. Click on these links: View1, View 2, View 3.

THE STORY OF PURIM

This 19th Century piece is comprised of silk embroidery on punched paper.  This extraordinary work was once displayed at the Jewish Museum in New York.

VINE STREET CORNERSTONE
By R. D. Blum

The letters on the cornerstone were outlined and then chiseled into the stone which is now part of the Memorial Garden.  Among those notables attending the dedication were Isaac M. Wise, the founding rabbi of the Hebrew Union College and Andrew Johnson, future president of the United States. Click Here to view the Cornerstone.





Tour Our Temple Entrance
Drive Entryway
Front Foyer Conference Room
Atrium Confirmation Photos
Classrooms Auditorium
Family Tile Wall Playschool
Gift Shop Library
Chapel Sanctuary
Social Hall Glass Foyer
Sculpt Garden tapestries page.html



 Tour Our Temple

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The Temple, Congregation Ohabai Sholom, moved to its current location in 1955. The move to the “suburbs” from downtown benefited from a large Jewish population in the west side of Nashville.

In the late 1990's, the congregation recognized that it had substantially outgrown its facility, which was built for a 500 family membership. The building had also become outdated and no longer met the needs of the congregation. As a part of the Temple’s long range plan, Project 2000, a Master Plan study was conducted to determine future needs. At the same time, a feasibility study was undertaken to ensure that the financial resources to fund such a massive project would be available.

With satisfactory responses in both areas, the renovation began. The original building contained two floors and some 35,000 square feet. The newly renovated synagogue now spans over 60,000 square feet. There were many additions which have created a warm, open, inviting and spiritual Jewish home for our congregation.

Before we tour The Temple facility, it must be emphasized that one of the most important design criterias was—security and safety. Ensuring that our synagogue would be secure to everyone inside—from students and faculty to members and guests as well as all of our staff. Security was a #1 priority of our Board of Trustees. The entire building is always locked down from the outside. Security cameras monitor the activity outside the building and over the grounds. Entry into the building is approved by the visual contact from our receptionist at either the front door or the entrance to our Preschool. Sign in’s are required for the Preschool. We regularly review our security procedures and practices. . . .




Entrance

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The entrance to The Temple is more than a stone wall landscaped with colorful flowers and shrubs. Our entrance is also an exit. It is an exit from the stresses of your daily life. When you exit this busy thoroughfare and enter our walls, you have the opportunity to take a break, to enter the spiritual, to join your Temple family in a few moments of peace, education, community and to help them repair the world.....




Approaching The Temple

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Driving up the winding, tree-lined drive in suburban Nashville, your mood may already be changing. The first sight is the beautiful stained glass windows in our sanctuary and the giant oak tree framed by them, representing the historical past of our congregation.

As you turn the corner, there is an opportunity to drive under a canopy and have your passengers disembark during inclement weather (and park close to the sanctuary, chapel and social hall for seniors and those needing a shorter walk).....




Our Entry Way

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Turn the corner again, and you find the main entrance to our synagogue-an impressive triple set of double doors, over which you will see, carved in stone, the words of Hillel, "You should love your neighbor as yourself," a message synonymous with the Mission of our congregation. Of course, you may drive under the large canopy to drop off your family, or pick someone up from Hebrew school or after a lecture......




Our Main Foyer

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As you open the doors to the synagogue, an almost magnetic force pulls you into our reception foyer. There is a vast expanse ahead, like open arms drawing you into this warm and inviting space. In the distance, you can see our astounding Ben Shan mosaic.

The marble on the right wall of the foyer, just behind the piano, was taken from the Ark that housed our sacred Torahs in the old building. . . .




Our Conference Rooms

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On the right are our two large meeting rooms, used for everything from Board of Trustees meetings, to committee activities, to B'nai Mitzvah parties, to lectures. These rooms are also the home of our "Room in the Inn" program, where we provide overnight shelter and meals for 10-15 homeless women each Monday evening during the winter months. . . .




Our Atrium

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On the left, a large two story glass enclosed atrium provides sunlight by day and starlight by night. The first story houses our staff. The clergy have a separate but connected suite of offices, providing privacy and confidentiality when needed, but readily and easily accessible to all members of the Temple family.

A glass railing surrounds an open balcony overlooking the school. Etched in glass panels on the railings are the words of famous Jews throughout history, who are studied by our children in our Religious School. . . .




Our Confirmation Photographs

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As you walk around the atrium, the long and special heritage of The Temple is magnified through the display of our Confirmation Class pictures, the earliest dating back to the late 1800's. While this beautiful building houses our congregation, these faces represent the individuals who have made our Temple such a special place over the last century and a half. . . . .




Our Religious School

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Walk down the winding stairway and step into our education wing. One of the major objectives of the renovation was to be able to house our entire religious school in one session on Sunday.

There are 23 classrooms for religious school, some of which are shared with our playschool during the week. The classrooms will house 20-30 students and have been wired for internet. Two of the classrooms double as adult learning centers for weekday and evening programs. . .




Our School Auditorium

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A large school auditorium provides an indoor play area during inclement weather, a nice place for Friday morning Tot Shabbats as well as many other Temple programs and activities. . . .




Our Family Tiles

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A special place in our Religious School is our Family Tile Wall. Religious
School families, as a part of the annual curriculum, create their own family ceramic tile, linking them to generations of Temple members and their families who have been Jewish learners at The Temple's Religious School. . . .




Our Preschool

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Our outstanding three star Preschool is housed in seven classrooms
specially designed to meet the needs of early childhood education. Each
classroom shares a restroom with its neighbor, and opens onto a wonderful outdoor playground.

What, before the renovation, was a beautiful chapel, now houses our infant program, the fastest growing part of our Preschool. . . .




Our Gift Shop

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Moving back upstairs to the warm and welcoming entrance to our synagogue, and taking few steps down the expansive hallway, you will find two additional areas to explore. On the left is our beautiful gift shop. Spend some time there looking at the generous selection of Judaica. There are wonderful artistic pieces for every holiday and life cycle event and for those special gifts.

Just drop in before and after Shabbat services, or during religious school on Sunday. . . .




Our Library

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On your right is The Temple's library. Over 10,000 volumes await your
curiosity for personal enjoyment, education or research. Our library books are maintained on computer inventory to assist in finding information about whatever interests you may have. We are also linked to the Nashville's Jewish Federation's library materials. The Temple's Archives are housed in a safe, secure and climate-controlled environment in the library. . . .




Our Chapel

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Take three more paces and instantly your mood changes. You are entering our sacred area for worship and Jewish community. Walk through the beautiful glass gates beautifully etched in Hebrew with the words of Isaiah 56.7, "For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."

On your left is the entrance to our main worship space, our Chapel. The
beauty of the Chapel is awe-inspiring. You immediately see the Ark
containing our sacred Torahs, they almost appear to be suspended in mid-air. The sacred scrolls are back dropped by the beauty of nature; the trees, the blue sky and the orange glow of sunset.

Our Chapel was designed as a modern worship space, where the Rabbi and congregation worship together as a community. There is only one step to the bema and candle lighting takes place on the main floor of the Chapel.

The Chapel is so acoustically perfect that microphones are almost unnecessary. One is never more that seven or eight rows from the Rabbi. Our Chapel is warm, spiritual, and invites participation. Nature plays an important role in helping to set the mood. Even the comfort of the chairs enhances your enjoyment of services. . . .




Our Sanctuary

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Several paces from the Chapel entrance you will find glass cases displaying our Judaica and other exhibits. Just past the displays, set permanently in the wall, is our extraordinary Ben Shan mosaic. Its colors radiate with beauty, and it can be seen the moment you enter The Temple.

The door handles into the sanctuary were formerly on the Ark doors. The small door windows with the Star of David, that allow a peek into the sanctuary, also came from the old building.

Open the doors into our sanctuary. The view down the aisle towards the bema and the Ark sets a mood of spirituality and tranquility. The wooden arms on the ends of rows of seats were from the seats of the old sanctuary. They were preserved and reused .

The sanctuary was specifically designed to make the worship experience more participative and communal. The bema is only slightly raised (except for the High Holy Days). Our Temple volunteer choir occupies a platform adjacent to the bema during the High Holidays.

On the right wall, the magnificent stained glass window speaks of "Atz
Chayim He, The Tree of Life." Through the colorful and translucent glass, one can see the aged oak tree depicting the heritage of our congregation. The leaves that emerge in the spring, provide much needed shade in the summer, turn bright colors as they fall in autumn, seem stark and barren in the cold of winter.

Through the imposing glass Ark doors, you can see our Torahs, encased in the hand-made multicolored needlepoint covers and appearing to be suspended in air.

The sanctuary opens to the Chapel for additional seating. It also opens to our Social Hall during the High Holidays. Almost 1500 members and guests can comfortably participate at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.




Our Social Hall

Click photo to enlarge.

Adjacent to the Sanctuary is our beautiful Social Hall. A prime focus of the renovation was to create a social space that our members would find attractive and which they would regularly use for life cycle and other events, in lieu of choosing a venue other than The Temple. It has the appearance of a well-appointed hotel ballroom.

Whether it is used as is, or decorated with additional lighting and flowers, the Social Hall can host an elegant evening event as well as our Purim carnival. . . .




Our Glass Foyer

Click photo to enlarge.

Just to your left as you exit the Social Hall you will see our beautiful
glass foyer. This tranquil room, enhanced by sunlight during the day and the moon and stars by night is used by members of our Temple family for small receptions and social functions. . . .




Our Sculpture Garden and Memorial Alcove

Click photo to enlarge.


Outside the glass foyer is our lovely Sculpture Garden. This is a peaceful and serene place for quiet thought. The garden is beautifully landscaped and our members enjoy the interesting works of art. Constructed into the wall are the cornerstones from the original Vine Street Temple building and for the current renovation.

Finally, connecting the glass foyer and the library is our Memorial Alcove. This space is dedicated to the memory of those congregants and family members who we love and remember as part of our heritage.

This space is designed to be a very spiritual and reflective place where thoughts can be gathered and memories can be recollected. The memorial wall houses the plaques of those congregants who we remember in our thoughts.

The stained glass windows in the Memorial Alcove were removed from the Temple's sanctuary and installed in this room, in accordance with our desire to connect the past to the present.




The textile panels as seen in The Temple are hung side-by-side to collectively tell a story of the seven days of creation The tapestries are hung reading from right to left as Hebrew is traditionally read with day one of creation on the far right and the seventh day of creation on the far left. Click Here and Click Here to enlarge.

"Seven Days of Creation"

The biblical “Seven Days of Creation” are being glorified in a Jacquard loomed tapestry to be permanently displayed in The Temple.

The Temple commissioned Laurie Gross Studios of Santa Barbara, Ca., an award winning, internationally recognized leader in the production of spiritually based artwork, to create seven paneled Judaic tapestries for its sanctuary choir wall.

Measuring a total of 30 feet in width and 10 feet in height, the textile panels are hung side-by-side to collectively tell a story of the seven days of creation.

Contributing members of the Zeitlin – Averbuch Families who donated funds to support the “Seven Days of Creation” tapestries in memory of Martin Zeitlin included: his wife, Shirley; his sons, Manuel and   Janice Zeitlin, Bruce and Beth Zeitlin, and Jeff Zeitlin; his brother, Barry and Linda Zeitlin; Shirley’s brothers, Jerry and Arlene Averbuch, and Larry and Sandy Averbuch; and Shirley’s mother, Juliet Averbuch.

Read More About "Seven Days of Creation"
Read the Press Release
Read About the Artists
Read About Martin Zeitlin



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The Temple
Congregation Ohabai Sholom
5015 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
615-352-7620
info@templenashville.org
www.templenashville.org