A committee appointed to select a mezuzah for the entrance to the Museum of Jewish History in Warsaw has chosen one designed by two local artists, the engineer Andrzej Bulanda and his son Maciej Bulanda, who is a historian. Their design, based on a brick taken from the ruins of a house located in the center of the old Jewish quarter, was chosen unanimously from 90 proposals which were submitted to the international competition.
The selection committee included, among others, the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Maciej Bulanda, the curator of the central exhibition Prof. Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, and a long list of art experts from Poland’s institutions of higher learning.
The mezuzah will be made from the brick, which will be cut along its length, with a stainless steel envelope for the parchment. The back side of the brick will be engraved with the Hebrew letter “shin,” for “Shadai” (a term designating God). The artists based their design on the writings of Hilel Seidman, who wrote that when the Messiah comes, he will stand on the corner of Gesia and Nalewki streets in Warsaw. The winners of the competition intend to dig at this site, which still contains ruins of Jewish houses and their bricks.
The museum management intends to use additional bricks, which were found while digging the museum’s foundations. These bricks are now in storage, and will be used for producing additional mezuzot which will be placed at the entrance of the museum’s exhibition halls. Any bricks left over will be sold at the museum’s gift shop. The museum will open later than planned, in about one year.