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Stanley Saitowitz's Judaica

The South African-born, San Francisco-based architect Stanley Saitowitz is no stranger to the intersection of Judaism and design. His firm, Natoma Architects Inc., is responsible for synagogues in San Francisco and La Jolla, California, as well as the New England Holocaust Memorial on Boston's Freedom Trail. His latest work in this rich vein is a collection of ritual objects now on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. "Stanley Saitowitz: Judaica" runs through October 2012 and shows the architect stripping away centuries of accreted ornamentation, filigree, and schmaltz from 13 objects of Jewish worship. "These objects are the instruments of ritual and I designed them to be stripped of sentiment, which I don't believe provides much comfort anyway." Check out the collection and do make it to the show if you pass through San Francisco.

The yad is a pointer used in reading from the Torah. It's one of the few public, that is, not used in the home, objects in the collection. Stanley Saitowitz, Yad, 2011, nickel and resin, .5 x 9 inches. Artist rendering. Fabrication by Dupliform Casting Company. Courtesy of the artist.

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