Joshua Zinder will speak about the evolution of synagogue design, from its earliest origins to its current issues and implications. He will discuss how Jews see their houses of worship in the world, and how these structures reflect their spirituality and resilience. Though there are a few essential physical elements that each synagogue should include, the contemporary temple has an enormous variety of aesthetic precedents to draw from. Now, the one commonality in the design of synagogues is diversity of style, form, art, and context. Today’s building also typically needs to address modern-day design concerns such as accessibility, sustainability and the role of technology. Ultimately, the designers and congregation should understand that they are creating a structure based on the notion that it is never about the building, but rather the congregants. No “house of worship” is technically even needed for Jews to pray; however a well-designed synagogue elevates those who experience it in a deeply spiritual way.
As an award-winning architect with his firm JZA+D, and in his association with Michael Landau as Landau|Zinder Architecture, Joshua Zinder has been involved in the design and construction of many synagogues and Jewish institutions.
Sponsor: Hindu-Jewish Coalition, AJC American Jewish Committee