Human Dignity Project launched in Monroeville
Education/artRabbi Barbara Symons leads educational diversity effort

Human Dignity Project launched in Monroeville

Rabbi Barbara Symons of Temple David in Monroeville. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Fisher)
Rabbi Barbara Symons of Temple David in Monroeville. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Fisher)

A new art installation, as well as educational diversity programming, will be the focus of the recently launched Human Dignity Project of Monroeville.

The project was established by the Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium, and is in partnership with Monroeville Public Library. Its aim is to promote understanding and acceptance of people from diverse faiths, ethnicities and races.

The idea for the project came to Rabbi Barbara Symons, spiritual leader of Temple David and a member of MIM, about two years ago — long before the events of Oct. 27 — when she was considering the library as a location to install a Holocaust memorial.

The concept was broadened to “be more inclusive, as it should be,” she said.

There will be two components to the project: an art installation on the grounds of the public library, and continuing educational programming at the library reflecting the fluctuating diversity of the community.

The Monroeville Council unanimously voted to support the initiative.

Symons, her colleagues on MIM, and the library are now working with the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to create the “living monument” that will be accessible to passersby, as well as those stopping to engage with the installation.

“We are working toward having short-term artists in residence that create short-term public art in order to better understand and interact with the community” before the ultimate art work is installed, according to Symons.

So far, Symons said, the primary focus of the working group that consists of Monroeville religious and library leaders is “to get the wheels moving.”

They are looking for funding and volunteers. The project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2021. pjc

— Toby Tabachnick

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