by Louis Davidson
Technology by Ideum
The Synagogues360° photo archive includes synagogues older than 2000 years to those of the most modern architecture as well as neo-classic, Byzantine, neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and many vernacular design styles. This growing resource includes 584 synagogues from 38 countries including the world’s northernmost and southernmost purpose built synagogues. All may be viewed utilizing state-of-the-art touch screen technology.
Louis Davidson an Internationally recognized Tulsa photographer began this project with his wife Ronnie with a 2003 visit to Sighet, Romania where they were impressed by the unusual architectural styles and highly decorative ornamentation of the synagogues of Romania and Eastern Europe. Seeing that these magnificent relics of their Jewish heritage were deteriorating due to the Holocaust and shifting Jewish population, they determined to photographically preserve these treasures for posterity. It soon became apparent the preservation project should be broadened to include the incredible diversity of synagogues around the world and throughout the ages not only recording the photographic history but oral and cultural material.
Louis Davidson writes, “In our travels abroad we had neglected our home turf. So from 2015-2017, together with our best canine buddy Harley, we visited every one of the continental United States and every province of Canada that had a synagogue. We believe that Harley holds the record of being in more synagogues than any other canine. She has earned the title Harley the Syna-Dog bestowed on her along the journey.”
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art and Ideum have created meaningful exhibit that provides experiences that use emerging technology. The approach is to create an exhibit that evoke wonder, awe, and surprise, but that also tell important stories about art, history, and culture that have a lasting impact.