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"12 Tribes", "Jerusalem of Gold", "Shoah"

Beth Polonsky

Machine pieced, appliqué, painted silk, hand dyed cotton, hand beaded, hand embroidery, machine quilted.

As a gift to Congregation Beth Judea, a Conservative synagogue in Long Grove, Illinois, I, along with my friend Ronna Leibach, created seven new Torah Mantles, three of which are shown here. Ronna painted all the beautiful silk fabrics used in the Torah Covers. 12 Tribes symbolizes our Ancient heritage but also a sense that we are all connected. It also reflects the different parts of our community and gives us a sense of responsibility for one another. Jerusalem of Gold is a symbol not only of ancient Jerusalem and our collective history, but of the modern city and our need to stay connected to Israel. The Holocaust Torah Cover is a reminder of Shoah, a remembrance of all those lost, but also the hope, the burning, that lives in us all to remember. Each flame is created with a different fabric, as each person who perished was an individual, no two alike. The railroad tracks symbolize the cattle cars used to transport Nazi victims to the concentration camps. The barbed wire across the Star of David represents the imprisonment of those who were victims. Not all victims were Jews. Political prisoners, homosexuals, mentally disabled and gypsies were all victims of Hitler's "Final Solution". These Torah Mantles are graciously on loan from Congregation Beth Judea. The other mantles can be seen at the synagogue during Saturday Morning services and upon request.

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Last updated December 9, 2015
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