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No. 29 Skyline of Pittsburgh

Design: Shelley Jaffe, Royal Oak, Ml

Smalti gold, mixed media, 2021

I have been making mosaics for the last several years. This particular project hit very close to home. My husband Jack grew up in Pittsburgh. I have been there more than a hundred times, visiting relatives and friends. I chose to make a skyline of downtown Pittsburgh, showing the river, one of many bridges, with mountains in the background. I also incorporated the word ‘strength’ in Hebrew. After the shooting at the Tree of Life, “Pittsburgh Strong” and “Stronger than Hate” were seen everywhere, on t-shirts, billboards, and storefronts.

My husband was a friend from kindergarten through high school with one of the deceased on that day, Irving Younger. He had also attended many B’nei Mitzvah (coming of age ritual) at the Tree of Life and had several friends who belonged there. He chose to say Kaddish (ancient prayer recited for the dead) for his old friend Irving for the year following the shooting.