1948-1949 – Torah Case, Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert

Eliahu Elath, Israel’s first ambassador to the United States, presented this Torah case to President Harry Truman in 1949. It is in the collection of the Truman Presidential Library & Museum in Independence, Missouri. The form of the upright Torah case originated with Jews from North Africa and the Middle East. Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert (1901-1981), a Jewish refugee from Germany, adapted it to the style of the New Bezalel, which reopened in 1935. Wolpert worked and taught at Bezalel until about 1956, when he moved to New York to create the Tobe Pascher Workshop at the Jewish Museum. The style of the case reflects the New Bezalel led by Joseph Budko and then Mordecai Ardon – emphasizing the importance of the Hebrew letter and using Hebrew fonts designed and developed by Bezalel teachers in a modern idiom. (Image courtesy of the Truman Library)