Who is Commemorated?
Six million Jewish martyrs
A wall in the entrance lobby of the synagogue is sheathed in white marble slabs, inscribed with a scriptural passage and a memorial dedication. Attached to the left is a large abstract metal relief sculpture. An attached plaque identifies the donor, The lower part of the sculpture undulates like crumpled or piled drapery. The upper part and along the upper edge has sixteen tubular upward extensions. These could be more folds, but they take on the forms of upraised arms, and also chimneys. In the center on metal fold created what appears to be a hooded figure or the ghost of a figure with arms outstretched.
“Oh, that my head were waters
and mine eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
for the slain of my people!"
In the dreadful era of Nazi infamy six million of our people were brutally annihilated.
Neither time nor distance shall dim their precious memory. Their martyrdom
remain a solemn admonition to the conscience of mankind, never to be silent
in the face of tyranny and injustice, anywhere on earth.
An attached metal plaque reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lewis
of Dallas, Texas
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lewis
Paul Lewis (1900-1984), descended from a line of rabbis, emigrated from Poland to the United States in 1922. He moved to Marfa, Texas in 1944 where he owned a clothing store, and he subsequently moved to Dallas. Many family members in Poland were killed in the Holocaust and in 1959 he began to sponsor Holocaust memorials in synagogues, and then to organize memorial days on the 20th and 30th anniversaries of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, on which occasions he published commemorative editions of the Passover Hagadah. In all, he built 15 memorials in synagogues, schools, and museums in the United States and he was appointed in 1976 by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the first United States Holocaust Commission. Among his many philanthropic works, he established the first Chair in Holocaust Studies at Yeshiva University in New York. As of 2021, it is not known why Lewis chose Anshe Emet, a Conservative Chicago synagogue, as the place for this memorial.
Abbott Lawrence Pattison (1916-1999), who signed the relief sculpture, was a leading Chicago sculptor.
Ornish, Natalie. “Lewis, Paul (1900-1985),” Texas State Historical Association Handbook of Texas , tshaonline.org (accessed January 5, 2022)