Description of the Mechitza 

The six panels of the Mechitza depict and/or represent the central locations of formal Jewish prayer and worship from the period of the Tabernacle, through the First and Second Temples, to the present day synagogues. They represent Israel and areas of the world which had in the past or do have now the greatest density of Jews in the diaspora.

Each panel depicts some aspect of Jerusalem. One panel on one side represents Solomon’s Temple and the city of David, and on the other side Herod’s Temple and the growing city of Jerusalem.

The remaining two panels on each side represent views of the “old City” walls of Jerusalem today. The four panels are a northern, western, southern, and eastern view of the city walls, gates and the city within the walls.

Around the edges of each panel are fragments of designs. Each of these design fragments are based on design elements from the Tabernacle, the First or Second Temple, or synagogues in Israel, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. These fragments and layers are partly gone but part of them remains, symbolizing the fact that some of these buildings are long gone, some still exist in ruins or fragments, and some are still functioning.

The buildings depicted or symbolized by border design held prayerful Jews in many areas of the world down through the centuries. These panels are part of another center of Jewish learning and prayerful Jews. They are a link in the unbroken chain.

These panels were completed in the year 5757, just before Rosh Hashana, corresponding to September 1997.

Joan Marcus