Aesthetics Committee

Viaje de los Ninos: Javier's Border-Crossing Collage

About the Aesthetics Committee

The Aesthetics Committee addresses aesthetics issues that go beyond specific care and maintenance of our building and site. We maintain the original architectural vision for the building and grounds, including its character and integrity as a multi-functional facility of sacred and non-sacred uses and its relationship to our Statement of Principles. We work to ensure that the building and site may respond to the ever-changing demands, and various interests, of the community with coherence and dignity.

Since its inception in 2003, the Aesthetics Committee has been responsible for many projects, including our Yahrzeit Memorial which is open to donors wishing to memorialize a loved one.

Mishkan Shalom Yahrzeit Memorial Open to Donors

Would you like to memorialize your loved ones with hanging glass tiles in Mishkan’s Yahrzeit Memorial? The Memorial, in Mishkan's main stairwell, is composed of beautiful, hand-crafted, amber glass tiles with names of the departed. We welcome memorial names from members and friends of Mishkan Shalom.

To make your request, please:

1) Download the Yahrzeit Memorial Rules and Guidelines listed below (includes a full description of the Yahrzeit Memorial, a photo of sample tiles, cost and Donor Form).

2) Type the form and send it as an attachment to: OR print and complete the form by hand (PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY) and mail or deliver it to the office. One form per tile.

3) Submit payment by check or click "Make Payment Online."

The Aesthetics Committee welcomes questions at: or contact Carole Boughter, Yahrzeit Memorial Coordinator, or Lance Laver, Chair.


Honoring the Future Climate Change Exhibit

Continues Through April 30, 2015

An art exhibition exploring the complex subject of climate change and the path to prepared, resilient and "climate smART" communities.

This exhibit, which will run through April 30, 2015, focuses on climate change through the works of two artists, Peter Handler and Paula Winokur. Sponsored by Honoring the Future, the exhibit includes Handler’s series, “Canaries in the Coal Mine,” five free-standing pieces examining places on earth pointing to signs of climate change; and Winokur’s ceramics and aerial photographs of Greenland glaciers of melting ice and other impacts of climate change. [Image above: Calving Glaciers, Paula Winokur, Porcelain.] Exhibit free & open to the public. Learn more here.

El Viaje de los Ninos: Journey of the Children - Spring 2014

This exhibit of colorful dioramas and paintings — and personal testimonies describing the harrowing journey of Mexican children across the border into the U.S. — was on display in the Heschel-King Room during winter/spring 2014.

Nora Hiriart Litz, a printmaker/artist and social justice activist, worked with immigrant children from Southwest Philadelphia, some of whom attended the Opening Celebration to explain their work. Children from our Congregational School were there to meet the young artists and learn about their experiences.

According to the exhibit’s statement, “Litz’s main goal was, and continues to be, to help these children find their voices through art so that they can begin to express their hurt and find a way to heal their wounds.” Exhibit attendees can hear the children’s stories (in Spanish or English) via audio tracks at each diorama, which include images of the children’s communities in Mexico and also the perils of their crossings.

Besides the children’s dioramas, the exhibit includes small paintings and poems from immigrant adults describing their journeys across the border, a map showing typical journey routes and walking times, and one diorama made by a ‘coyote’ (head smuggler) about his experiences with the emigrants. There is also a long sheet of brown paper (“the desert”), one end representing Mexico and the other the U.S., where Litz “asked the children to draw the things they encountered between locations.”

The diorama sculptures “touch upon the many hardships the children faced — from leaving family behind in Mexico, to border control security, to secretly moving from ‘safe house’ to ‘safe house.’”

For more information, contact Lance LaverMishkan Coordinator, or Nora Litz.


  • Writing guidelines for the use of the building.
  • Creating and managing the design and installation of all the building’s exterior and interior signage with our crafts designer/fabricator, GRAN.
  • Creating permanent donor recognition panels at the Third Floor Landing and individual room plaques (with GRAN).
  • Creating and installing the Heschel-King Room panels.
  • Working with Peter Handler, the rabbis and other committees to realize the Handler family gift of Peter’s Sanctuary ritual furniture, including the Ark.
  • Working with Karen Singer to actualize her design for the Micah tile assemblage at the entrance to the Sanctuary.
  • Obtaining and installing the Ner Tamidim in the Sanctuary and Chapel, including using solar panels.
  • Creating and fabricating the Yad L’Yad panel plaque and yearly updates (with GRAN).
  • Accepting and installing other gifts, including Sara Charmé-Zane’s tile mosaic in the Kehillah Room; Joe Brenman’s commemorative ceramic medallion in the entrance lobby; and Devorah Horn-Greenberg’s mizrach in the Sanctuary.
  • Organizing and installing multiple exhibits in the Heschel-King Room, including Harvey Finkle’s social justice photographs; Both Sides of Peace posters; Michael Koehler’s Post-Katrina New Orleans photographs; Terry Fowler photographs; and Israeli artist Avraham Ofek’s drawings (loaned by Eugene Sotirescu)—as well as Linda Panetta’s social justice photographs in the Social Hall; Peace cranes in the space next to the main stair landing; and Omer paintings of Devorah Horn-Greenberg in the Sanctuary.
  • Organizing the first Mishkan artists exhibit and fund-raising auction in 2010.
  • Working with the Holocaust Memorial Committee to support the exterior Holocaust Memorial sculpture (by Alan Greenberg) at the top of the Amphitheatre.

4101 Freeland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128 - ph: (215) 508-0226 / Site map