The Artwork of Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills
Please click on the name below to see the artwork in detail and learn more about its history.
The following notable individuals are among those represented in the Heritage Mosaic:
- Aboab da Fonseca (1605-1693) First Rabbi in America
- Haym Salomon (1740-1785) Helped finance the American revolution
- Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869) Founder of Jewish Sunday schools
- Isaac Leeser (1806-1868) Founder of the first Jewish continuing publication in America
- Jacob Frankel (1808-1887) First US Jewish Chaplain in the armed forces
- Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897) Photographer and Explorer
- Levi Strauss (1829-1902) Clothing pioneer and manufacturer
- Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) Poet who wrote the famous verse on the Statue of Liberty
- Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) First Jewish judge on the Supreme Court
- Lillian Wald (1867-1940) Nurse and social worker
- Jacob Adler (1855-1926) Star of Yiddish theater
- Henrietta Szold (1860-1945) Founder of Hadassah
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Founder of the Theory of Relativity
- Jonas Salk (1914-1995) Discovered the Polio Vaccine
The Heritage Mosaic, is one of the largest outdoor historical mosaics in America was dedicated in September, 1984 after more than seven years in the planning by a committee of Jewish historical scholars. This majestic mural, which spans 30’ x 145’ and is comprised of more than two and a half million pieces of individually hand-cut Venetian glass, is based on an oil painting by renowned Los Angeles artist, Neil Boyle.
From the first Jewish settlers who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654 (seen on the far right) to the contributions of contemporary figures such as Jonas Salk, Albert Einstein and Golda Meir, the Heritage Mosaic portrays the great struggles and historic changes which influenced the world, our nation and Jewish people everywhere.arrow up Return to List of Artwork
The following notable individuals are among those The Blessings Mosaic, by Los Angeles artist Ruth Merritt, was installed in 2014. The brightly colored mosaic depicts occasions during the Jewish year when b’rakhot related to a special time are spoken. These include:
- Shabbat (Candlesticks; Kiddush cup; challah; Havdalah candle; spice box)
- Pesach (Seder plate)
- Sukkot (lulav; etrog)
- Purim (Megillat Esther)
- Chanukah (menorah; dreidel)
- Tu B’shevat ( tree)
- Rosh HaShanah (shofar)
- Yom Kippur (Gates)
- Shavuot and Simchat Torah are represented by the central feature – The Torah scroll, enfolded in a tallit.
Hebrew phrases accompanying the symbols include: the priestly blessing; the Torah being presented by Moses to the people; and the entreaty at Neilah asking for the gates of prayer to remain open.
The Cabbalist, R. Moses Cordovero, asserted that “every Hebrew letter has a spiritual soul.” His words are preserved along the Mosaic’s top and bottom margins.arrow up Return to List of Artwork
The four seasons are located as follows:
SPRING (the Nisan cycle) upper left;
AUTUMN (the Tishri cycle) lower right;
WINTER (the Tebeth cycle) upper right;
SUMMER (the Tammuz cycle) lower left.
The Zodiac Mosaic was installed in 1974, is a faithful reproduction of the central portion of the 6th century Beth Alpha Synagogue floor (located in the Jezreal Valley of Israel). This mosaic recreation is five times as large as the original. The mosaic was originally installed as a cover and portal to Mount Sinai’s Genizah (storage area) where Hebrew prayer books and text are buried when they are no longer in usable condition.
Starting from the steps (at 6 o’clock) and reading clockwise, the symbols of the Zodiac and the corresponding Hebrew months are as follows: Capricorn (Tishri), Sagittarius (Ellul), Scorpio (Ab), Libra (Tammuz), Virgo (Sivan), Leo (Iyar), Cancer (Nisan), Gemini (Adar), Tauras (Shebat), Aries (Tebeth), Pisces (Kislev), and Aquarius (Heshvan).
Ethics of the Fathers
The Ethics of the Fathers Mosaic, installed in 1971, is based on artwork found in the 17th century Butzian synagogue in Cracow, Poland.
The inscription under the mosaic reads:
“The inspired work of an ancient Jewish artisan is reflected here in brilliant mosaic. Unknown by name the gentleness and beauty of his folk art lives on in this representation of the carved wood doors of the Holy Ark from a late 17th century synagogue in Cracow, Poland”
The Hebrew inscription from “The Ethics of The Fathers” provides the theme for this unique creation”.
“BE STRONG AS A LEOPARD, LIGHT AS AN EAGLE
FLEET AS A HART AND STRONG AS A LION
TO DO THE WILL OF THY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN”
Crown of a Good Name
The Crown of a Good Name, reproduced in fine mosaic was created for Mount Sinai Memorial-Park by California artist Joan Carl in 1974. It was the first of the two mosaics in the Courts of TaNaCH to be installed. The theme represents the essence of the Jewish way of life as taught in the Bible and interpreted in the Talmud and in rabbinic documentary through the ages.
“THERE ARE THREE CROWNS, THE CROWN OF PRAYER, THE CROWN OF PRIESTHOOD AND THE CROWN OF ROYALTY, BUT THE CROWN OF A GOOD NAME EXCELS THEM ALL”
Ethics of the Fathers
David the Psalmist
David the Psalmist is (1960) a tile mosaic based created as a concept from the work of renowned Jewish graphic artist Arthur Szyk.
This mosaic contains more than 50,000 pieces of glass tiles. The harp, the sword and the crown are symbolic of David’s greatest contributions to his people and the world. The thousands of individual pieces of tile give the appearance of a fine oil painting.
Close up of tile work in David the Psalmistarrow up Return to List of Artwork
Pentecost Festival of Revelation
The Pentecost Festival of Revelation (1964) is reproduced from the painting by the A. Raymond Katz. It depicts the season of the giving of our law and the offering of the first fruits of hardest on the altar of the ancient temple. The burning bush and the ten commandments on Mount Sinai portray the deeper spiritual meaning of the Shavuot holiday.arrow up Return to List of Artwork
Anointing of David by Samuel
The Pentecost Festival of Revelation (1964) is reproduced from the painting by the A. Raymond Katz. It depicts the sea
The Anointing of David by Samuel (1966) is a tile mosaic based on the painting by Saul Raskin. This mosaic is located in the left side of the Courts of the Psalms at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills.
The Inscription reads:
“The biblical event, The Anointing of David by Samuel is reproduced in mosaic tiles from the painting by Saul Raskin.”
David, the shepherd boy and harpist begins from this point to fulfill his destiny as described in the holy scriptures. The interpretation of the event depicted in the mosaic is inspired by Psalms 118-22.arrow up Return to List of Artwork
Proverbs Water Feature
The Proverbs Water Feature was installed in 1996 and was designed by Los Angeles artist, Ruth Merritt. Water plays a key element in this art installation as it flows down a black granite wall over a calligraphed inscription from the Book of Proverbs.
The Inscription reads:
“My child, follow your father’s instructions
And do not abandon your Mother’s teachings;
For they are a graceful wreath upon your head
A necklace about your throat.”
Zakheim Memorial to the Six Million
The Warsaw Ghetto Memorial / Memorial to Six Million, by artist Bernard Zakheim portrays three dimensional figures rendered in burnt and tortured wood to depict differences among Holocaust victims. It was originally installed at Mount Sinai in 1969 near the current location of TaNaCH Chapel. The entire memorial was moved to its current location in the 1980s.
Six heroic figures are set among cement slabs bearing the names of the most infamous of the Nazi death camps. Rising from these stories is the flame that symbolizes the eternal spirit of the Six Million martyrs and the rebirth of Israel from the ashes of the Holocaust.
This monument is extremely powerful and it is not unusual to pass by individuals praying for loved ones or placing stones or flowers on the camps in memory of those who perished.arrow up Return to List of Artwork