Ceremonial Art

These Torah ornaments in modern style are made by a leading Israeli designer

The circular Torah shield (tas) has three angles that converge at the center, and  Hebrew cut-out text at the periphery.

This pewter Levitical pitcher was used to wash the hands of the kohen (priest) in preparation for the priestly benediction of the congregation

This is perhaps the only ritual object remaining from a synagogue built in 1887 in Gemünden-am-Main in Unterfranken, Bavaria, Germany, where an organized congregation was established in the 1870s.

This silver comb was used in the preparation of a corpse for burial

The inscriptions on this comb identify it as belonging to the Burial Society of Mattersdorf (today Mattersburg), one of the so-called seven communities of the Burgenland (West Hungary).

This havdalah set is a classic example of Wolpert's use of Hebrew letters as a design element.

Havdalah, the service in the home at the conclusion of the Sabbath, includes blessings over wine, spices, and a candle.

This handsome circumcision set was made during the heyday of American surgical instrument manufacturing.

Ferdinand G.

These burial garments were made by a bride for her husband and herself after a local tradition

The maker of these garments, Melanie Cahen Levy, was born in Luxembourg in 1884. In 1911 she married Daniel Levy, a baker from the nearby town of Bollendorf, Germany.

This is the wimpel of Joseph Wile, one of nine wimpels of the Wile family in the Spertus collection

A wimpel is a Torah binder formed from cloth wrapped around a male infant during the circumcision ceremony. The cloth is cut into four parts and stitched together to create one long banner.

In this grand hanukkiah, German-born artist Benno Elkan depicted the five Maccabean brothers (left to right) Eliezer, Jonathan, Judah, Simeon, and Jochanan.

This hanukkiah depicts Judah Maccabee, shown holding a hammer, flanked by his brothers, Jonathan (as philosopher) and Simeon (as a king).

This seder plate is one of a group of objects in the Spertus Institute collection designed and made by Friedrich Adler in the German Art Nouveau style, Jugendstil.

This Seder set was produced by Friedrich Adler, an important member of Germany's artistic avant-garde in the early 20th century.

This spice container was donated by the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, a body tasked with distributing thousands of heirless Jewish objects looted by the Nazis.

During World War II, the Nazis looted religious and cultural artifacts from individuals, museums, libraries, synagogues, churches and other institutions across Europe.