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OBJECT OF THE MONTH – June 2008


Synagogue Cushion with the Motif of the 10th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State of Israel

Synagogue Cushion with the Motif of the 10th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State of Israel Synagogue cushion
velvet, appliqué
Bohemia, Prague, undated, (probably) 1958
Acc. No. 1995/1335

This synagogue cushion, serving in the interior of the synagogue as a rest on the cantor’s lectern, the so-called amud, is one of the rare examples of the authentic synagogue furnishings made during the Communist regime for one of the Prague synagogues active at that time. The dating of the object is specified by the used decorative motif of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel: a stylised numeral ten, whose number one comes out of the letter lamed (L), the last letter of the Hebrew word Jisrael, and whose zero encompasses one of the most significant national symbols of the young state – the seven-branched candelabrum (menora).
We have not yet been able to trace the designer of this seemingly official emblem of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel, but it is clear that the emblem was very popular in Israel in 1958. Besides two Israeli postage stamps (one with a nominal value of 400 prutots issued on 2 July 1958 for the Exhibition on the 10th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State; the other with a nominal value of 200 prutots for the Jewish International Youth Congress also issued on 2 July 1958), it also appeared in 1958 on posters for various events (e.g. the Flower Festival in Haifa) or on the envelope issued on the occasion of the exhibition of postage stamps organised on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the State by the Society of Israeli Philatelists. The stamp or envelope are also likely to be the route by which the emblem of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel came to Bohemia, to the Prague Jewish community.
 

 


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