Titiev Memorial Windows

Beachwood, OH
שמע ישראל, ה אלוקינו, ה אחד.

The windows in the Cedar-Sinai synagogue were dedicated in memorial of the Titiev pogrom, that occured in 1920 in the town of Titiev in the Ukraine. The synagogue was founded by survivors of the pogrom who made their way to Ohio in the 1930s. In preparation for  this project, I was given the transcripts of the eyewitness account of the pogrom. (https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/tetiev/massacresoftetiev.htm ) As I read it my jaw dropped. Not only was the evidence shocking, it was hard to believe that I would be able to portray such horror in stained glass in a way that would make it acceptable to be in a Synagogue. I decided to offer a motiv of “Before” and “after”, and thank God, the idea of juxtaposing a before and after window worked.

In the first window all the elements are happy and floating around, almost as in a  Chagall painting. The houses of the shtetl, the Torah, the shul, all elements of a small jewish community like Titiev.

In parallel, In the second window- those same elements are dark, bloody and broken. The houses and  the violin are broken and burning, the hands reaching out to pay ransom but still they were killed. The rabbi dances in the burning synagogue as he slowly loses his mind and his life. People hiding in the cellars but still being found out and killed by the rabble that approaches from the top left.

The words from the prayer “Shema Israel” have been set in the “After” window, the prayer said by the Jews as the during the hardest of times always affirming our faith in One God and a world that aspires to be better.

I am honored to be part of the new synagogue building, telling the story of Devastation and hope.

Barak Uranovsky
Glass Artist

[email protected]
Bnei Reem, Israel