Portfolio
Arks (Aronot Kodesh)
Flame of Life Torah Ark

Dimensions: 110 cm x 50 cm x 215 cm high
Materials: Mahogany

In this Torah ark, or Aron Kodesh, Kimchi blends two recurring themes: The Tree of Life and the Eternal Flame. The two merge into one cohesive fluid form, drawing the eye – and the spirit – towrads the heavens.

Three Tiered Torah Ark

Dimensions: 270 cm x 240 cm high
Materials: Cherry

This Aron Kodesh was commissioned for a synagogue with an unusually low ceiling. The challenge was to create an inspiring piece that gives an uplifting feel despite the height limitation.
Kimchi chose to incorporate a three tiered design that adds depth and drama to the composition.

Reaching For the Heavens Torah Ark (Aron Kodesh)

Dimensions: 90 cm x 60 cm x 220 cm high
Materials: Mahogany

There is often a need for a portable Torah ark, or Aron Kodesh. This piece was constructed in two halves, disassembled and crated, flown to the U.S. and reassembled quickly and easily on site with the accompanying hardware.
The ark is equipped with hidden high-quality wheels, and can be comfortably moved in and out of the sanctuary hall.

Clean-Lined Synagogue Furniture

Ark Dimensions: 130 cm x 130 cm x 280 cm high
Materials: Cherry and wenge

The stark simplicity of this synagogue dictated a composition that bespoke both nobility and restraint. The aron kodesh has two doors which open to almost the entire diameter of the piece. The crown was designed to accommodate hidden lighting. The bimah and flower stands also serve to complement and spotlight the primary piece.

Raise Thy Eyes to Jerusalem Aron Kodesh (Ark)

Dimensions: 440 cm x 320 cm high
Materials: Cherry, maple and colored glass

This aron kodesh was commissioned by a synagogue located in the Jerusalem foothills. The carvings on the cherry panels, in fact, depict the hills leading up to The Holy City, which  can just be seen through the windows on the horizon. The congregation wanted to stress their connection to Jerusalem and chose this verse from Psalms. The massive central doors slide on runners to reveal the ark above and a separate storage section with additional wooden doors below.

Golan Renaissance Aron Kodesh (Ark)

Dimensions: 220 cm x 320 cm high
Materials: Cherry

This ark was custom designed and created for the synagogue in Moshav Nov, in the Golan. Prior to designing this piece of synagogue furniture Kimchi spent time in the community getting to know the members of the congregation, the two rabbis and the members of the synagogue design and building committee. He also toured the nearby archaeological site Um al-knatir where an ancient synagogue from the Byzantine period has been unearthed and is under restoration. In his design for the ark Kimchi strove to incorporate the threshold motif common to all ancient synagogues in the Golan region. It can be seen as the cross beam which supports the sliding doors. In the middle of the beam he has introduced an additional element, representing the iconic steep ravines of the Golan cutting their way through the landscape towards the Sea of Galilee.



Portable Torah Ark -Special Dedication

Dimensions: 70 cm wide x 54 cm deep x 125 cm high
Materials: Solid bubinga

This Torah Ark, or Aron Kodesh, was dedicated on the happy occasion of the Bar Mitzvah of a client’s son. The Bar Mitzvah took place on the holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish People. Themes of the holiday were incorporated in the hand-carved details, as was a special dedication in honor of the occasion.

“Unity Through Diversity” Ark (Aron Kodesh)

Dimensions: 220 cm wide x 90 cm x 320 cm high
Materials: Cherry, maple and purple heart

This Aron Kodesh was commissioned by a boarding school for underprivileged boys. They come from diverse ethnic back grounds, and difficult family situations. Over time they develop a sense of belonging to the community and come to see their schoolmates as family. This is the essence of the carving on the ark: each individual retaining his or her own identity while contributing to the overall sense of togetherness.

 

 


Grapes of Joy Torah Ark – Aron Kodesh

Dimensions: 210 cm wide x 70 cm deep x 225 cm high
Materials: Mahogany

Here is an excellent example of how an old, steel safe can be transformed into a spiritually uplifting Aron Kodesh.

Through creative thinking Kimchi can allow even communities with limited budgets to dramatically upgrade their sanctuary space.

Mahogany Tree of Life Torah Ark (Aron Kodesh)

Dimensions:
Ark: 300 cm wide x 85 cm deep x 250 cm high
Bookcases: 70 cm wide

Materials: Mahogany

This Torah ark is multi-layered with four different depths. The piece juxtaposes different surface treatments to create a rich tapestry of textures. The generous overhang of the cornice adds a sense of awe to those who approach the ark.

Life-Affirming Aron Kodesh

Dimensions: 120 cm  x 50 cm x 220 cm high
Materials: Bubunga, wenge and stained glass.

This Torah Ark, or Aron Kodesh, was commissioned by a client who recovered from cancer. She donated the piece as a gesture of thanks to the members of her community who supported her through her illness.

The ark serves in the famous North Shore Congregation Israel, in Glencoe, Illinois. The iconic synagogue designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki.
Italian Baroque Ark Revisited

Dimensions: 54 cm x 42 cm  x 70 cm high
Materials: Mahogany, gold plated solid silver

This highly detailed aron kodesh is in fact a miniature. It is actually a functional piece of synagogue furniture, designed to house a 17 cm tall Torah parchment. The ark was commissioned as a gift to a well-known philanthropist. The design for this piece drew its inspiration from a 17th century Italian aron kodesh. The gold plated silver castings depict scenes from the western Wall in Jerusalem and the Tomb of the Fathers in Hebron. The design was done in cooperation with Bier Judaica Inc.

Priestly Blessing Torah Ark (Aron Kodesh)

Dimensions: 280 cm x wide x 510 cm high
Materials: Mahogany, LED lighting

This Torah ark was commissioned in memory of a Cohen (man of the Cohenic priestly line). The family members were intent on having this be expressed in the artwork. The three arcs above are inscribed with the priestly blessing, and the carved hands on either side reflect the gesture the Cohenim make during the blessing.

Scenes of Jerusalem Ark

Dimensions: 210 cm wide x 65 cm deep x 215 cm high
Materials: Bubinga

This ark ( Aron Kodesh ) showcases some of the most significant and scenic sites in the Holy City and its environs. Hand-carved panel presents a different interpretation of the iconic locations. This piece of synagogue furniture was commissioned by the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel, in Herziliya Pituach, Israel.

“Thirsting for Spirituality” Aron Kodesh (Ark)

Dimensions: 140 cm wide x 65 cm deep x 230 cm high
Materials: Mapa burl and maple

This Aron Kodesh was commissioned for the opening of the first ever Synagogue in Kibboutz Sde Boker in the Negev Desert, Israel. Sde Boker is where Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion lived and is buried. This kibboutz is infused with Ben Gurion’s vision for settling the desert and bringing it to bloom. The spiritual reawakening that is taking place there among some of its members adds an extra dimension to the thriving of life in the desert. The inscription carved into the crown cornice is from Psalms: “…my soul thirsteth for Thee…”

Silver Leafed Aron Kodesh (Ark)

Dimensions: 55 cm wide x 42 cm deep x 210 cm high
Materials: Cherry and solid silver

In most cases, the aronot kodesh I create are large and dominant synagogue furniture pieces. This small ark was commissioned by a private collector in Toronto to house a unique Torah scroll. The theme of the piece is the Tree of Life. Each leaf was created by sculpting the form and then cutting out a hollow which was then filled by attaching a plate of hammered solid silver. Silver work executed by Bier Judaica Inc. of Jerusalem, Israel.

Portable Aron Kodesh

Dimensions: 80 cm wide x 56 cm x 212 cm high
Materials: Mahogany

This portable aron kodesh (torah ark) was commissioned by the Movement for Progressive Judaism. It was custom designed to be easily disassembled for transport to various functions such as retreats, seminars and conferences. An artistic interpretation of the movement’s logo is carved into the doors.

Mount Sinai Ark and Podium

Dimensions: 250 cm x 380 cm high
Materials: Cherry and maple

The challenge here was to convert an old and rather nondescript synagogue into an uplifting place of worship by creating new synagogue furniture. Working within the confines of the existing stone structure I designed and created this aron kodesh to maximize the vertical aspect of the composition. The sign above has a verse hand-carved into it. The lectern is adorned with electrical lighting coming through the menorah.



Tree of Life Aron Kodesh (Ark)

Dimensions: 305 cm wide x 70 cm deep x 320 cm high
Materials: Teak

In this monumental Aron Kodesh Kimchi sought to create a sense of uplifting drama through use of the undulating gap between the two halves of the supporting structure. The flowing form of the gap draws the eye upward towards the heavens. As it ascends it is bisected and juxtaposed by the square Torah cabinet which protrudes towards the front.

“Abraham Saw The Place From Afar” Ark

Dimensions: 220 cm x 280 cm high
Materials: Cherry and maple

This aron kodesh is made of columns of frame and raised panels, with the sculpted motif on the doors taking center stage. The theme depicted here is Mount Moriah and the heavens above. The verse quoted is taken from Genesis, where Abraham sighted the holy mountain from afar. The verse is hand carved with a chisel-textured backing and recessed lighting.

Birds in Flight Aron Kodesh

Dimensions: 110 cm wide x 45 cm deep x 140 cm high
Materials: Cherry

Occasionally one comes across a client who really makes the artist look outside the box. This wall-hung aron kodesh is a case in point. The extreme bend of the contours in the form required use of challenging woodworking techniques. Neither was the sculpted front with the door cut into it a task for the weak of heart. In designing this ark Kimchi strove to create a piece that would invite the viewer to an ongoing dialogue. As one continues to observe the carving more and more birds come out of the woodwork.

Playful Ten Commandments Ark

Dimensions: 90 cm x 50 cm x 215 cm high
Materials: Maple, mahogany and wenge wood

This aron kodesh was commissioned by the Ritz Carlton hotel in Herziliya Pitouach, Israel. This ark is intended to serve the smaller synagogue for daily worship, while the “Scenes of Jerusalem Ark” he made is used in the larger hall for special occasions. This aron kodesh, being located in a rather confined space, needed to be compact, bright and cheerful. By implementing some of his trade mark positive/negative space design and using mainly a light-toned maple, kimchi was able to keep this synagogue furniture piece both practical and light.