Our Symbol

We are forever grateful to Klari Goodman for allowing us to use her interpretation of the Star of David as shown above, as the official symbol of Chavurat Emet. The symbol was part of a larger work and the description that follows is in the words of the artist.

“The glow from the Eternal Light flows out of the painting to encompass all and a spark from it comes down to light the Chanukah Menorah. The two tablets of the Ten Commandments intersect inside the Eternal Light. The Mezuzah contains the Schema. The Passover Seder Plate is seen behind the Spice Box, Candles and Kiddush Cup that, along with the Challah represent the Sabbath. The Havdalah Candle, which separates the Sabbath from the rest of the week, separates the two sides of the Book of Life, suggestive of the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as does the Shofar which is 'large' to indicate the loudness of its sound.

In the lower right corner, the Megillah opens to read the story of Queen Esther and next to it are the Lulov and Esrog, used to celebrate Succoth. The Chanukah Dreidel spins happily in the upper corner. Near the center of the picture, one of the straps from the Tefillin Box wraps itself around the Torah, as another strap intertwines and becomes the stripes on the Israeli flag. The Torah lies open in the lower point of the Star of David, and the Yad, is formed by the "A" in the word sh-A-lom.....peace.

Finally, the Tallit begins at the top of the painting and gently twists and glides down to wrap itself around everything and gives all the symbols a hug! A Kipah, or Yarmulke, lies near the Torah, and the whole design is included in the shape of a Jewish Star, which is outlined in the word, SHALOM, all along its border.”

About the Author:

Klari Goodman was born in Providence, Rhode Island, as were her mother and father and her maternal grand-parents. In fact, her maternal great-grandfather is written up in the archives of the early settlers as being the first kosher butcher in RI.

In her teen years her family lived in New Jersey and she attended the Newark Public School of Fine and Industrial Arts, (Arts High School). She took art courses and upon graduation was offered a scholarship to the Pratt Institute in New York. However, it was the depression years and her family moved back to Rhode Island so she settled for night courses at the RI School of Design while working in the office of the Bulova Watch Company. The office work was to be a two month summer job but lasted seven and a half years. It was there she met her first love, Armand Waldman. They married in 1944.

After only eight years, and the birth of two boys, her husband died very suddenly. Knowing that she could not a living as an artist and she went back to school to become a teacher. She began the Temple Nursery School at Temple Beth Israel in Providence. Starting with her own two boys and three of her friends’ children, it grew to be big business, serving over 40 families and bringing new members into the Temple. She earned her BA from the University of RI and an M. Ed from RI College. During this time, she married Charles Goodman and now helped raise two step-children as well as her own two boys. They subsequently had a little girl.

Klari’s success with the Nursery School was noted by Mrs. Ty Goff, who approached Klari on behalf of the Parents’ Council for Retarded Children organization, (now known as ARC, the Association for Retarded Citizens). Mrs. Goff had started a nursery school for handicapped children in her own home and it had grown so big that the organization now needed a teacher. Klari took a contract for a year to see if she could do it. She not only became the first pre-school teacher for the trainable mentally retarded child (as they were called in those days) in the State of Rhode Island, but also taught special needs children for 26 years.

There was no curriculum or guide and few materials, so Klari began to design and develop games, toys, ideas and programs to meet their needs. She was among the many that fought for the passage of federal legislation that made it mandatory for the public schools to provide education for all special needs youngsters from the age of 3 to 21. In Rhode Island she was helpful in starting an early intervention program, for children from ages 0 to 3, a sheltered workshop situation for children past school age and finally in the closing of the Ladd School, the State Institution for the Mentally Retarded, with the advent of group homes.

Two years after being chosen “Teacher of the Year” for the Warwick School Department and 26 years after starting to create for, and to teach this handicapped population, Klari retired and went back to her first love of being an artist.

“I have tried to develop a style of my own. However, I think I have been influenced a bit by the work of both Matisse and Georgia O’Keeffe, my favorite artists. Rather than attempting to play the part of a camera, painting in a completely realistic style, I try to capture a mood or feeling in my work, striving instead for a personal interpretation or impression of the subject I am eclectic in my method of rendition, employing various techniques, but all are within the realm of watercolor. I guess the old adage, “Once a teacher, always a teacher” holds true for me, for I have taught an art class, for the past 12 years, in the community where I live.” Klari Goodman