In the foyer of our building is a magnificent artwork by world famous artist Laddie John Dill, inspired by the Shema, which displays a flow, an elegant movement from nature. Donated by Katherine Merage, the piece demonstrates moving from the past to the present and then into the future, exemplifying the Jewish people. Dill creates a balance among diverse media, encompassing the rich complexity inherent in life. As you approach the work, hear the Shema resonate in your heart.
The Shema is the central affirmation of Judaism, it is neither a prayer nor a blessing. Rather, it is a challenge: to hear, listen, and heed the idea that Divinity is One and Humanity is One. The world is literally a Universe – not disparate and disconnected – but whole.
The materials used in this work are both man-made and from the earth. Glass, crushed minerals, blue cobalt oxide, red iron oxide, sulfur, volcanic ash, aircraft aluminum, wood, and cement enhance each other, contributing to a collective strength and unity. The tent motif, used in the design of the University Synagogue sanctuary, is incorporated in the work to extend the feeling of welcoming and community.