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Featured Windows, March 2004

Temple Beth Sholom Windows

Building: Temple Beth Sholom

City: Ishpeming

State: Michigan

These two windows at Temple Beth Sholom represent significant Jewish holy days. The window at the left, located in the Temple library, symbolizes Yom Kippur, with images that depict the closing of the gates and the Great Book at the conclusion of the holiday and worshippers leaving the Temple. The window at the right, located in the front hall, symbolizes the Sabbath. In the lower part of the window, a mother's hands bless the Sabbath candles. Above are images that depict the Six Days of Creation.

Temple Beth Sholom had its beginning in 1952, when a group of Jewish people from Marquette, Ishpeming, Negaunee and Munising (all located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula) organized the Beth Sholom Community Center in Ishpeming. The Hebrew name translates into English as "House of Peace." Designed by Arnold Cohodas and Marquette architect Walter Meyers, and constructed by Pajula & Maki, the Temple was officially dedicated in June of 1953. The simple and functional building was furnished with gifts, including two family Torahs over a century old, brought from Europe by the families when they immigrated to the United States and settled in the Upper Peninsula during the late nineteenth century.

The above two windows and ten other windows at Temple Beth Sholom were designed by artist A. Raymond Katz (1895-1974) of New York. Katz worked in various media, including murals, stained glass, mosaics, bas-reliefs, printmaking, paintings and drawings. Born in Kassa, Hungary, he came to the United States in 1909 and spent his early years in Chicago, where he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Among his murals are those for the 1933 Century of Progress exposition in Chicago, a post office in Madison, Illinois, the Young Women's Hebrew Association of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and many synagogues in the United States. His bas-reliefs and stained glass designs also can be found in numerous synagogues. Katz was well known for his designs based on characters of the Hebrew alphabet and for his interpretations of Jewish themes. After seeing his Ten Commandment paintings, Temple members Willard and Lois Cohodas visited Katz in New York and he offered to design, without charge, ten windows to symbolize the Ten Commandments for the Temple. Those windows were installed in 1962. The Yom Kippur and Sabbath Windows shown above were designed a few years later, not long before his death in 1974. All of the windows designed by Katz for Temple Beth Sholom were fabricated by Rohlf's Stained and Leaded Glass Studio of New York. To see windows designed by A. Raymond Katz for another Michigan synagogue, visit the Windows of the Month for November 2002.

Temple Beth Sholom was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Willard L. Cohodas and Helen J. Kahn of Marquette.

Bibliography: Show Bibliography

(MSGC 2003.0007)

Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, March , 2004.