Beth Shalom’s stained glass art was designed by Silvia Sunberg, a Baton Rouge stained glass artist.
The glass panels originally hung above the bima in our previous sanctuary.
In September 2005, our sanctuary was damaged by Hurricane Rita. The renovated sanctuary design was inspiredby Beth Shalom’s essential values of tradition, community, worship, and our connection to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel).
In Beth Shalom’s new sanctuary, the stained glass plays an important part in the new design for the Aron HaKodesh (Sacred Ark). The stained glass windows inlayed in bronze have now been incorporated into this Aron HaKodesh, and are appropriately the focal point of our sanctuary. Along with the stained glass, the Aron HaKodesh combines an additional cherished element of our previous sanctuary — the original Aron HaKodesh’s bronze doors.
The stained glass is a montage of Jewish symbols which artistically express the verse in Daniel 4:33 “How great are His signs; How mighty are His words.”
From left to right these symbols are:
- The mystic emanations or manifestations of God
- The Shofar (ram’s horn) proclaiming the central affirmation of Jewish belief
- The Shema– our central prayer which proclaims God’s oneness, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One”
- The Magen David (Star of David) with its six points representing the interconnection of God, World, Man, Creation, Revelation and Redemption
- The Torah, our foundational text which provides an endless source of divine inspiration and direction
- The Menorah (branched candelabra)representing the light of God and enlightenment