Jay Waronker – “Synagogues of Sub-Saharan Africa: Architecture, Identity, and Sense of Place”
Jay A. Waronker, educated in architecture and architectural history at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Cornell University, is a practicing architect in Atlanta, Georgia specializing in residential design. Waronker is also a member of the faculty of the Department of Architecture at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, where he was departmental chair. Waronker has served as a visiting professor at various American and international universities, including Emory University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Lithuania), the University of Adelaide (Australia), Duksung Women’s University (Seoul), North China University of Technology (Beijing), King Mongkut’s University of Technology – Thornburi (Bangkok), the University of the Free State (South Africa), and later this year at the Technion in Israel.
Since the early 1990s, Waronker’s scholarship has focused on the documentation, study, and preservation of synagogues in India, Myanmar, and sub-Saharan Africa. His portfolio of synagogue watercolor paintings have been widely exhibited throughout the USA and abroad, including most recently at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi (2017), Kennesaw State University (2017), and SUNY-Canton (2016). His writings have appeared in a variety of academic and popular publications, including Synagogues of Islamic World: Architecture, Design and Identity (Edinburgh University Press, 2017) and theThe Synagogues of India (fIS Publications, 2017). Among his many efforts associated with diasporic synagogues, in 2015-16, Waronker in collaboration with the Indian Jewish Heritage Center of Israel installed heritage plaques at all Indian synagogues, and he advised on the restoration of synagogues in Maputo, Mozambique; Abuja, Nigeria; and at Delhi, Parur, Chendamangalam, and Ahmedabad, in India. Waronker regularly delivers papers at conferences and lectures widely in the diasporic synagogue architecture field.
Waronker’s talk is presented in partnership with the College of Environment and Design and the Institute for African Studies. An exhibit of Waronker’s paintings of African Synagogues, Watercolors by Jay A. Waronker, is on display in the Jackson Street Building of the College of Environment and Design from January 16 through February 15.