This awe-inspiring, mixed media mosaic mural celebrates Beth El Synagogue’s 75th Anniversary. The mosaic captures the vision and feeling of belonging and is filled with Jewish symbolism to awaken the shared purpose and identity of the Beth El community. The imagery is specifically curated to provide comfort, familiarity, joy, and an opportunity to explore. Let’s explore the symbolism and narrative of this design together!
The petals that surround the mural create a chuppah of wisteria. The chuppah symbolizes a Jewish, welcoming home. The wisteria is used to represent a connection to nature and its abundance in the mosaic reflects the thriving community at Beth El.
Nestled within the petals of the wisteria, you will find nature’s great pollinators who serve to remind us that we are a part of a larger, complex, and delicate community of the planet Earth. These pollinators symbolize “everything that creepeth upon the earth” as described in Torah on the sixth day of creation.
Dancing across the top of the wisteria canopy is the collective voices of the community, responding to the Priestly Blessing, “May it be G-d’s will”.
The Torah serves to remind us of our covenant with G-d and the values in learning, teaching, and working in community to make the world a better place.
The design includes a gathering of people who represent the Beth El community and the community’s ancestors. The mosaic details include the community gathered with open arms, homemade challah, Shabbat candles and joyful expressions.
The Sabbath Bride embodies the union of the Jewish community during the course of the Sabbath. In the mosaic, she is seen blowing the shofar as a call to our ancestors, our loved ones both living and deceased, and to all future generations who have yet to be born.
To the Kabbalists, it was all about breath. Humankind began when our Creator blew a breath of life into Adam and Eve. All the required shofar blasts –Tekiah, Shevarim, and Teruah – can only be made by forcing air through the wind instrument, literally breathing into it. The shofar in the mural is a reminder to appreciate each breath we are granted and to help to make our world a place where everyone can breathe a little easier.
The design for the “Belonging” mosaic project was created by Art with A Heart and many of their volunteers along with over 1,000 members of the Beth El community. The mosaic is intended to provide wonder and excitement to all who stand before it. We hope you will enjoy seeing, touching and exploring the various mediums, elements, and design techniques used in its creation and that each time you pass by to enter the building, it serves as a reminder that you belong.
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