Tag: prayer

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Published in The Jewish Week Friday night. We are standing in a paved plaza beside Riverside Drive; the air is crisp, the fresh snow is sparkling like diamond dust in the setting sun. We are six feet apart and masked (I can’t wait for this combined phrase to become obsolete). We join the Chazzan, chanting the Jewish Friday evening prayer, welcoming the Sabbath as the sun disappears over the Hudson river. “Come my beloved towards your bride to welcome the Sabbath.”  Suddenly I’m choked up, no longer able to sing. My eyes fill with tears and emotions. I have sung […] Read More

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Originally published in The New York Jewish Week “We are in the season of the High Holy Days, when many Jews will be spending significant time in the synagogue. As an architect, I have had a number of opportunities to design synagogues, forcing me to think about the spatial and phenomenological aspects of communal prayer. [Jewish Week staff writer Steve Lipman addressed some of these issues in a Sept. 11 article, “The Shape Of Worship To Come.”] “The synagogue’s primary function is what happens in its sanctuary, the space in which the congregation prays together. But there is a basic […] Read More

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Preface In this lecture I will reflect on two seemly separate questions: Why do we pray in a communal setting as well as the design implications that follow from this specific activity? And how do we create, invent and think of new ideas? I hope I can answer these questions using my experience of designing synagogue spaces, my understanding of the architectural creative process and theories of gender and collaboration or what I like calling “Relational Creativity”. The question of Synagogue Design In the last few years I have had a number of opportunities to design synagogues. Unlike  churches or […] Read More