The merging of two Jewish congregations is always challenging, but it was the emotional aspect of the experience that Temple Beth El of Quincy, MA faced earlier this year. As this congregation prepared to merge with Temple Shalom of Milton, MA, a question arose of how to preserve the treasured stained glass windows their old building, scheduled for demolition, housed. The Cincinnati Skirball Museum worked with the leadership of the former Temple Beth El to provide the stained glass collection a new home. The windows were created by acclaimed artist, David Holleman in the 1960s.
David Holleman’s work in mosaic and stained glass has been featured worldwide and in several synagogues around Massachusetts. He also designed a window for the chapel of Yavneh Day School, now Rockwern Academy, in Cincinnati. Holleman taught at Harvard University School of Design from 1960-1977 and at Stonehill College from 1971-1996. Holleman has worked in various media throughout the years and in recent years has returned to his early interest in portraiture.
Among the windows gifted to the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion is a two-panel window titled Redemption. The window depicts the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptians as they were engulfed by the sea. Included on the window are the words from Moses’s song of deliverance, Adoni Yimloch l’olam va’ed- “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.” The window combines the qualities of stained glass and mosaic by mounting pieces of stained glass onto glass plate to create a unique, mural-like appearance. This window was dedicated at Temple Beth El in the 1960s in memory of Fannie Stein, Harry Stein, and Ida Coffman.