Our Shared Garden: Immigration, the Environment and the Hebrew Cultural Gardens

Prepare yourself to enter a secret garden in the Hartzmark Center. Our Shared Garden: Immigration, the Environment and the Hebrew Cultural Gardens draws together photography, sculpture and the written word.

This exhibit explores important social issues of the environment and immigration—the garden is a metaphor for the nature and the environment that we are obligated through Tikun Olam to protect and repair. In addition, immigration is explored though the legacy of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens as a celebration of cultural diversity, universal brotherhood and immigrant communities in Cleveland.

The exhibit opening for Selichot gave Temple community a chance to explore the social issues raised with a panel discussion of experts including Rabbi Jonathan Cohen; Sean Martin, PhD, Associate Curator for Jewish History at the Western Reserve Historical Society; Lori Ashyk, Executive Director of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Foundation, Artist Lisa Meek, and Kaleb M. Garcia, Dean of Engagement at International Newcomers Academy, Thomas Jefferson International School.

Documents and historic photographs from the Cleveland Jewish Archive, The Western Reserve Historical Society, chronicle the history of the Hebrew Cultural Gardens. Over 60 years later artist Masumi Hayashi created an evocative photo-college of that space that we have on exhibit. More recently Beachwood artist, Lisa Meek, is creating exquisite and detailed paper sculptures that draw you in with their beauty and then reveal their thoughtful and sometimes painful questions of our relationship to our earth and to humanity.

The exhibit continues in the Chapel Corridor with Photographs of the Cultural Gardens by the Temple Photography Club of The Temple Arts Program (TAP). Congregant photographers include Scott Gloger, Master Photographer, Bruce Gottlieb, Richard Koletsky, Barry Miller, David Polk and Thad Badowski.

We are pleased that that this exhibit is part of Front International.