The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County presents Eric Mendelsohn: Synagogue Architect with a Vision, on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 2 PM. Admission is free (donations are welcome). To make a reservation and receive the Zoom link, call 732-252-6990, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.jhmomc.org.
Between the years 1946 and 1953, the American, German-Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn built four synagogues in the Midwest, which were the crowning conclusion of his career through tumultuous times. In his book, Eric Mendelsohn’s Synagogues in America, photographer Michael Palmer records in detail these four Mendelsohn synagogues, located in Saint Paul, Saint Louis, Cleveland, and Grand Rapids. Palmer will use his photographs as the foundation for a discussion about Mendelsohn, his Jewish identity, and his architectural mission. Palmer will also explain how the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 affected Mendelsohn’s plans and how Mendelsohn sought to create radically new architectural solutions for American houses of worship that uniquely met the functional, social, and spiritual demands of their respective, diverse Jewish communities.
Michael Palmer is a photographer whose work has explored the architectural legacy and relevance of the German-Jewish exodus from Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. His first photo book documents previously ignored aspects of 1930s buildings in Tel Aviv’s historic “White City” district, a center for German and other central European refugees in the 1930s. Palmer’s most recent work focuses on the buildings of Eric Mendelsohn, including Mendelsohn’s break-through Einstein Tower near Berlin, the synagogues in Saint Louis, Cleveland, Saint Paul and Grand Rapids, as well as his buildings in Israel. His photography career began in 2015 with the Tel Aviv White City project. Previously, he had a career in pharmaceutical industry research and development.
Funding has been made possible in part by a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Monmouth County Historical Commission.