Obj. ID: 50461
Modern Jewish Art 'The Torah, The Eternal' Holocaust Memorial in Mount Sinai Jewish Center in New York City, NY, USA, 1987
To the main object: Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in New York City, NY, USA
The Torah, The Eternal
Who is Comemmorated?
The Six Million Jewish Victims of the Holocaust
This Memorial is a bronze sculpture set on a large base in a vestibule area of the synagogue – inside the entrance, backed up against windows to the street. Behind the sculpture on both sides are panels with small metal plaques with the names of donors to the Holocaust Library. As the photos show, this area is where parents leave strollers for children attending preschool (an unintended sign of Jewish renewal around a sculpture celebrating the survival of the Jewish people).
The sculpture is roughly triangular in form, culminating in a Torah scroll held aloft by flames. The sculpture’s lower part represents flames traversed with barbed wire, in the center of which are the Ten Commandments inscribed on the tablets. Two tongues of flare rise higher and support a partly unrolled Torah scroll. A plaque attached to the base's side explains the work's symbolism.
On a plaque on the side of the base (1987):
The Torah - The Eternal
A pyre at the base of the sculpture envelops the Ten
Commandments which represent the Jewish People, barbed
wire, symbolizing the concentration camps, surrounds the
tablets, and six flames, memorials to the six million
martyrs, rise up from the fire. The two tallest flames
hold the Torah high above the conflagration, signifying
the eternal power of the Jewish Faith and the
indestructibility of the Jewish People.
Commissioned by the Washington Heights
Holocaust Memorial Committee
Upper plaque on the front of the base (2021):
Washington Heights Community
Holocaust Memorial and Library
Lower plaque on the front of the base (2021):
In Tribute and memory of
Our Beloved President
Walter Leo Spier z’’l
לייב בן אברהם ויעניא ז"ל
Translation: Lev son of Avraham Vayaniya (Mr. Spier's Hebrew name)
October 17, 1927 – May 16, 2021
Holocaust Survivor and Active Witness
Pillar of Mount Sinai Jewish Center
The Washington Heights Holocaust Memorial Committee
The memorial sculpture was commissioned and installed in 1987. The memorial was remodeled in 2021 with new dedicatory plaques for those who supported the synagogue’s Holocaust Library.