Portfolio
Bimahs
The Story of Chanukah Bimah

Dimensions: 130 cm x 90 cm x 115 cm high
Materials: Mahogany

This Torah reading table, or Bimah, was commissioned for a synagogue in the city of Modi’in, Israel. Modi’in is the birthplace and of the famous Maccabee brothers who in ancient times raised the rebellion against the Greek ruler Antiochus. The Maccabees eventually succeeded in freeing Jerusalem from foreign rule, and the holy temple, which had been desecrated, was once again made pure.
Then the Menorah was re-kindled using only the tiny amount of pure olive oil which remained, this lasting a miraculous eight days.

The sculpted panels of this Bimah recount the story of Chanukah, beginning with the desecration of the temple, brought about by brute military force. The back panel depicts the ever-present threat of the Hellenistic power with its superior armor. The third panel shows the two civilizations facing off as the winds of war begin to favor the Jewish people. Finally, on the front, the oppressors have been vanquished. The Torah is upheld, and once again flame is lit in the Menorah.

“Eternal Flame” Bimah

Dimensions: 150 cm x 90 cm deep x 120 cm high
Materials: Teak

Kimchi continues to be fascinated by the design opportunities inherent in the use of positive and negative space. In this Bimah he has created an aperture which runs straight through the center of the piece. This allows for a ray of light to shine through and highlight the flowing contours of the form.

“Ten Commandments” Yeminite Bimah

Dimensions: 160 cm x 75 x 145 cm high
Materials: Mahogany

This bimah was commissioned for a Yemenite synagogue in Tel Aviv. The Torah scroll is read at an angle while resting in the grooves incised in the top surface. The theme on the front panel represents the giving of the ten commandments at Mount Sinai. The back panel evokes the light of the Torah shining from Zion. At the bottom of the front panel is a small door behind which a stool is stored for young boys to stand on as they read from the scroll. At the rear are larger compartments, custom designed to house items necessary during the service.

“Ten Commandments” synagogue Bimah

Dimensions: 120 cm x 75 cm x 115 cm high
Materials: Bubinga

When designing synagogue furniture, Kimchi likes to establish a clear hierarchy between the various kinds of pieces. The aron kodesh, or ark, is always the main player, while the bimah, or torah reading table, generally comes in second. This example of Kimchi’s custom designed furniture for the Ritz Carlton Hotel of Herziliya Pituach, Israel is a case in point. The massively rich carvings on the aron kodesh and overall aesthetic are echoed in the bimah in a quieter and more subdued fashion. Thus both pieces of synagogue furniture are a delight to view and use, while the necessary equilibrium is maintained between them.



Parting The Waves Bimah

Dimensions: 150 cm x 70 cm x 115 cm high
Materials: Cherry and maple

The bimah is a synagogue furniture item, which serves as a raised platform on which the Torah scroll is placed or displayed when reading the Torah. This bimah celebrates the parting of the Red Sea. It is equipped with two drawers and three doors, all of whose handles are carved into the wood as an integral feature of the design. Each facet depicts the event from a different angle.



Moroccan Fantasy Bimah

Dimensions: 160 cm x 55 x 125 cm high
Materials: Cherry

This bimah was commissioned by an historic synagogue in Jerusalem whose congeregation has evolved over time. Today the congregants are mostly of Moroccan descent. Their aim was to have a bimah made that would evoke traditional Moroccan design with a modern twist.

Mount Sinai Bimah

Dimensions:
Sculpted railing and bench: 300 cm x200 cm
Lecturn: 110 cm high

Materials: Cherry and Maple

This bimah is only part of a major renovation I designed and executed for an old synagogue. The main motif – which appears on the aron kodesh –  is of the tablets on Mount Sinai. Surrounding the bimah is a sculpted railing attached to the existing raised stone structure. The bimah is equipped with an upholstered bench to seat three worshippers. The reading table has a drawer and storage beneath. All handles are integral parts of the carving.