Jewish Atlanta architect Jay Waronker’s expertise in synagogue design has drawn attention at elite international levels.
During his historic visit to Israel in July, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was presented a copy of Waronker’s book “The Synagogues of India” (FIS Publications) during a tour of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on July 5. Modi later was given a copy of a second book Waronker published this year, “Synagogues in the Islamic World: Architecture, Design, and Identity” (Edinburgh University Press).
Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent time at the Israel Museum exploring a reconstruction of the wooden 16th century Kadavumbagam Synagogue from Cochin in southern India, one of four reconstructed synagogues from three continents on display. The rescued synagogue reflects the influences of the decorations of mosques and Hindu temples.
Waronker’s colleague Marian Scheuer Sofaer presented “The Synagogues of India” to Modi.
The next project for Waronker, who also teaches architecture at Kennesaw State, is a book on the synagogues of sub-Saharan Africa, undertaken at the invitation of the African Jewish Congress.