Beth El Congregation
“Pillar of Light”
6’x25’ recycled glass and vintage stained glass
Project Overview-The Holy Ark (Aron Kodesh) is the architectural focal point of every synagogue and for this small congregation in Ohio the Holy Ark is not only the focal point but also helps tell the story of the 66 year old Jewish institution.
At a time when many places of worship are downsizing, merging or closing their doors, this 280 member congregation took the bold step to sell their outdated building and move to the campus of the Jewish Community Center. The leadership honored the congregation’s past by repurposing and reusing the treasured artifacts from the original building. The idea of balancing tradition with modernity helped the congregants embrace the move.
Client Needs-The focal point of a new chapel, a shimmering “Pillar of Light” enhances the serenity of the sacred space and encourages spiritual reflection and personal prayer. Inspired by sacred texts and ancient symbols, this 6ft. by 25 ft. mosaic was created using thousands of pieces of white luminous, iridescent, recycled glass. Bathed in natural light from a skylight above and framed by a view of the sky and trees, the reflective glass takes on a different aura each season of the year and each hour of the day and night inspiring the congregational community to reflect upon the beauty of nature. Scattered throughout the “Pillar of Light” are pieces of vintage colored glass from the congregation’s original stained glass windows that were reduced in size to fit the new chapel creating an inspiring spiritual connection from one generation to the next-emphasizing the importance of preserving our environment for generations to come.