New Book: Eric Mendelsohn’s Synagogues in America
Author: Michael Craig Palmer, with essay by Ita Heinze-Greenberg
Published by Lund Humphries https://www.lundhumphries.com/products/95608
In America between 1946 and 1953, the celebrated German-Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn planned seven synagogues, of which four were built, all in the Midwest. In this book, Michael Palmer’s photographs record, in exquisite detail, Mendelsohn’s four built synagogues. They are accompanied by an insightful essay by Ita Heinze-Greenberg.
Mendelsohn found radically new architectural solutions for these ‘temples’ that met functional, social and spiritual demands. In the post-war and post-Holocaust climate, the old references had become obsolete. The duality of Jewish and American identity became more crucial than ever and the congregations were keen to express their integration into a modern America through these buildings.
The synagogues were a crowning conclusion of Mendelsohn’s career. They became the benchmark of modern American synagogue architecture, while the design of sacred space added a new dimension in Mendelsohn’s work.