There is a gem in our backyard – The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery located just steps from The Temple inside The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. This intimate exhibit space showcases some of the best examples of our synagogue’s wide-ranging collection of art and artifacts. There are delights around every corner in the well-planned space, from ancient mosaics to modern art glass, from works by anonymous craftsmen from bygone times to pieces by renowned artists of the modern era such as Chagall, Lipschitz and Agam.
A film loop welcomes visitors into the gallery. In historic footage of a television interview with famous journalist Edward R. Murrow, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver explains that the establishment of the museum commemorates events both happy and sad. It’s debut in 1950 marked the centennial of congregation Tifereth Israel, but it also would be a repository for artifacts from European Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust.
The Temple-Tifereth Israel gallery is organized thematically into three broad categories: sacred texts, sacred spaces and sacred occasions. Spanning centuries, the displays include 186 items – ritual objects, rare books, sacred scrolls, textiles, paintings, sculptures and Israeli stamps, carefully chosen from the Temple Museum’s over 1,500 piece collection.
There are objects from far, like the ketubah (marriage contract) from Cairo, c. 1551, or the late 20th century Ethiopian matzah cover, and near, like an 1874 confirmation certificate from our own congregation. Small treasures like the delicate silver etrog delight the eye while Judith Liberman’s large Holocaust wall-hanging provokes thought.
Although the scope of the gallery is broad, the space is compact; it is possible to thoroughly tour it in under an hour. Temple members may tour the gallery free of charge during regular Maltz Museum hours.
The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage joins an elite group of world-class institutions as a living testament to the courage, conviction, aspiration and achievements of Cleveland’s Jewish community. The stories of individuals and families – past and present – come to life through state-of-the-art exhibitions, interactives and films, oral histories, photographs and artifacts.
One of the crown jewels of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is the light-filled Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery. The Maltz Museum features a rich selection from The Temple Museum of Religious Art’s important collection of art and artifacts.
Established on March 1, 1950 by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver in honor of The Temple’s 100th anniversary, The Temple Museum of Religious Art includes ritual objects, sacred books and scrolls and fine art from all over the world. It is the fourth oldest museum of Judaica in the United States.
To find out more about the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.