Special Project – THE KJ/RAMAZ STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

The five sublime stained-glass windows in the façade of New York City’s Kehilat Jeshurun Center/Ramaz School in Manhattan, New York City, were created in Jerusalem between  2014 and 2017, and installed in New York in 2016 to 2017. They tell the story of the Five Books of Moses, from the Creation of the world to the Promised Land. 

Artist Ofra Friedland’s series of oil paintings of The Five Books of Moses (Marilyn & Jack Belz Collection) have been stunningly transposed into a site-specific art installation,

 in collaboration with Yair Medina’s Jerusalem Fine Arts Prints studio and master craftsman in glass, Barak Uranovsky.  

Visit www.ramazkjwindows.com to see the full impressive project.

“I hope with all my heart that these windows will stir within others a new understanding and a spiritual longing,” says Friedland.

The windows are recreated from Friedland’s oil series of The Five Books of Moses (now in the Marilyn & Jack Belz Collection), each window portraying the artist’s interpretation of the essence of each Book.  Like the original paintings, every window is complete in itself, while flowing together with its four companions to form a coherent whole, telling the entirety of the Torah.

An ongoing challenge was the fluid and unpredictable nature of glass: while every image was built clearly and accurately, changes can occur in the kiln.  With shades, silhouettes and contours emerging only gradually, and final images unseen until the firing of the last layer, experience of each process and a healthy imagination were required in equal measure. 

Recreating the artist’s masterful series in glass demanded adjustments to the original oil paintings, but has compensated for them with a spectacular added dimension:  the light that shines through each window constantly changes, emphasizing, muting and modifying colors and images to reflect their surroundings, the shifting seasons and even the emotions of the viewer.  This play of light on glass serves to intensify not only the images, but also the central human concepts they convey.

Created by the skills of many, this multi-layered triumph in glass tells the story of the Divine and the everyday, man at his most spiritual and at his most base.

Artist: Ofra Friedland

Creative and Production Management: Yair Medina, Jerusalem Fine Art Prints

Glass Master Craftsman: Barak Uranovsky

Metal Construction: Chezi Cohen, Mikedem

Creation of windows: Jerusalem, Israel, 2014-2017

Materials used: antique flash glass, antique streaky glass, lead, solder and sealant.

These materials have remained virtually unchanged since early medieval times, some 900 years ago, when they were first developed. All materials are of European origin.

Size of windows (in meters):

Genesis:  62.1 x50.3 | Exodus: 62.1 x 50.3 | Leviticus: 62.1 x 74.23 | Numbers: 62.1 x50.3 | Deuteronomy: 62.1 x 50.3

Installed at the Kehilath Jeshurun Congregation/The Ramaz School, October 2016 to February 2017