By Switching Vowels and Reshaping Two Triangles, Beth Shir Shalom Moves Toward a More Contemporary Look

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Temple Replants its Traditional Roots

Our new logo is very lyrical and speaks to who we are without any letters at all. We are the "Home of the Song of Peace. The dove is in flight and moving forward, as is Beth Shir Shalom.

The letter “o” has become an “a” and two triangles have been transformed into a dove and a Star of David, as Temple Beth Shir Shalom takes two steps to replant its traditional roots.

“Spell check” was partly responsible for the decision to replace the “o” in Sholom with an “a,” since that all-too-familiar red line kept appearing under the word in e-mails.

“We’re yielding to the digital age," explains Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels. "We pride ourselves on being a contemporary and progressive temple and feel the switching of vowels is a practical and harmless tweak to tradition.”

Determined to capture the essence of the Santa Monica-based temple in a more modern way, another visual change has taken place at Beth Shir Shalom. Temple leaders have taken the bold step of depicting the qualities that are at the core of Beth Shir Shalom by adopting a distinctive form of the Star of David.

Graphic designer Jim Shanman, of Asylum Design and Marketing, Inc. says this was one of the hardest images he's ever been asked to create. “My challenge was to combine song, peace and Judaism all in one symbol,” he explains. Experimenting with various sketches depicting a variety of shapes, Shanman labored long on the project.

The new image still depicts a hexagram that compounds two triangles, but instead of mirroring each other, they gracefully intersect, forming a Star of David and a dove, a familiar symbol of peace. “It was a great opportunity to go back to the basics of drawing and painting instead of digitizing,” adds Shanman, a reference to the modern day approach to graphic design.

“I think that the final product reflects the Temple’s essence,” says Rabbi Comess-Daniels “Our new logo is very lyrical and speaks to who we are without any letters at all. We are the Home of the Song of Peace. The dove is in flight and moving forward, as is Beth Shir Shalom.”

ABOUT BETH SHIR SHALOM
Beth Shir Shalom was created in 1991 when Beth Sholom Temple combined with Temple Shir Shalom, which had roots extending back into the Santa Monica community prior to World War II. A Progressive Reform Synagogue, Beth Shir Shalom is a community where Jewish song and spirit are one, and Shabbat, holiday gatherings and holy day services are filled with music and rich spiritual experience. For more information visit http://www.bethshirshalom.org.

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Barbara Meltzer

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