JCC MetroWest exhibit marks Tree of Life tragedy
The Gaelen Gallery at JCC MetroWest in West Orange is hosting “From Darkness to Light: Mosaics Inspired by Tragedy” from March 5 until April 30. The exhibit commemorates the 11 victims of the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, which is the largest and most devastating antisemitic event in U.S. history.
An opening reception will be held on Sunday, March 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 1:30, Rabbi Paula Drill of the Orangetown Jewish Center will speak about healing. There will be more programming and docent-led tours of the show; on Sunday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a mosaics workshop will teach participants to cut, glue, and grout tiles and they’ll leave with their own completed mosaic.
The mosaics in the show promote community discussions and education and evoke themes ranging from antisemitism and injustice to hope, resilience, and peace.They include “Everlasting” by Joan Schwartz, “Skyline of Pittsburgh” by Shelley Jaffe, “Student Mosaic” by Cincinnati area high school students, and “Star of David” by Sandi Sikora.
According to Abby Schwartz, director of the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, where the exhibit first was displayed, “When a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue approached me about a mosaic project that was inspired by the events of October 27, 2018, my reaction to this collective artistic response to a visceral, violent attack was overwhelming. Brimming with color and creativity, the works by artists from around the world express themes of hope, resilience, and social justice in the face of the unthinkable. Art teaches. Art transcends. Art elevates. Art inspires. It is my hope that From Darkness to Light will lead to conversation and action around the tough subjects of hate crimes, antisemitism, gun violence, and injustice, so that love, justice, and peace might prevail.”
JCC MetroWest is at 760 Northfield Avenue in West Orange. The gallery is open and available for public viewing during regular opening hours. For more information, email Lisa Suss, the Gaelen gallery director, Lisa Suss, at email@example.com,
call her at (973) 530-3413, or go to