Ark Not Kitschy


Your Jan. 4 sidebar on Lincoln Square Synagogue’s aron kodesh (“Craters Of The Last Ark”) mentions that some find its unusual design kitschy. I disagree.

When the doors of a more traditional ark are opened, the worshipper faces an assemblage of Torah scrolls seen from the front and massed together to form a monolithic whole. In contrast, the ark at Lincoln Square Synagogue, designed by Edward Jacobs, places each Torah scroll in a separate cradle, emphasizing each scroll’s individuality. And when the scrolls are rotated on the central spindle, the Torah is seen from a multiplicity of directions.

The members of Lincoln Square Synagogue have come to a life of Torah through diverse entryways. The congregation has always been open to many points of view. It sees Torah not as something static but as gloriously fluid. The Jacobs design captures all that. At Lincoln Square Synagogue the design is not kitsch but essence.