The Gwozdziec Synagogue Ceiling:
Inspiration For Artist Wanda Peretz

Gwoździec_Synagogue_(photo_Ethnographic_Museum_in_Lviv)_1940.jpg

In the 17th and 18th centuries, hundreds of beautiful wooden synagogues were built in Poland. They were architectural gems, often with splendid painted interiors, that served as the nucleus of thriving Jewish communities.

Between 1941 and 1944 the Germans destroyed every single wooden synagogue in Poland - over 250. Today, thanks to the efforts of multiple people across continents and centuries, one Polish synagogue is miraculously finding new life. 

Read More about the Gwozdziec Synagogue ceiling.

The ceiling has become an inspiration for our artist-in-residence Wanda Peretz.

Wanda is a Los Angeles-based artist specializing in Judaic textiles, illustrations, murals and children’s theater set design. She is fascinated by the unique Jewish art of the lost wooden synagogues of Poland, and for the last four years has been researching, writing stories, and creating her own original art pieces inspired by the 16th century artists who created the spectacular Gwozdziec ceiling: Israel ben Mordechai Lisnicki and Isaac ben Yehuda Lieb HaCohen.

Wanda has been a frequent guest on our Facebook Live show, sharing her artwork and teaching about the panoply of animals on the Gwozdziec ceiling.

The meaning of griffins in Jewish lore and the Gwozdziec Synagogue celiling.

The meaning of elephants in Jewish lore and the Gwozdziec Synagogue celiling.

The meaning of bears in Jewish lore and the Gwozdziec Synagogue celiling.

  The Gwozdziec Synagogue ceiling recreated in the Polin Museum.

The Gwozdziec Synagogue ceiling recreated in the Polin Museum.

Here are some coloring pages designed by Wanda based on animals from the Gwozdziec ceiling. Click on an image to enlarge, then save & print to create your own coloring experience. Great for kids and adults!

Jewish holiday mural by Wanda Peretz (Kehillat Israel, Los Angeles):