Two stunning multi-paneled murals inspired by Biblical themes were unveiled on May 14, 2001 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Contemporary Israeli artist Avner Moriah, whose works appear in museums and private collections throughout the world, continues thus his life-commitment to the visual portrayal of the history and ethos of the Jewish people.

The Gathering at Mt. Sinai, commissioned by JTS chairman Gershon Kekst now graces the staircase leading to the JTS library. The mural depicts Moses' ascents to Mt. Sinai and God's covenant with Israel, a fitting symbol, according to the artist, of the ascent to the JTS library, a world-renowned repository of Jewish scholarship throughout the ages. Moriah's creative process involved an extensive period of research of Hebrew texts, scholarly works on Egyptian and Assyrian wall paintings, and museum artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages.

The thirteen panels that comprise this dramatic work incorporate elements from midrashic literature to illustrate scenes from the life of Moses, the story of the Exodus and the giving of the Ten Commandments. (Not coincidentally, one panel is a compelling rendering of the burning bush, JTS's logo.)

The Gathering at Mt. Sinai
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The Women's Zodiac
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The Women's Zodiac, commissioned by the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, adorns the walls of the new Women's League Educational Pavilion. Moriah matched women mentioned in biblical and midrashic literature with the months of the lunar calendar, creating a rich tapestry of feminine attributes. The 14-panel mural (one panel for each lunar month and two of the complete zodiac) is thus a reinterpretation of the zodiac from a Jewish perspective.




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