By Harriet Wolman.
The Rainbow (Wolman) Chuppah was donated to the Temple in 1984 to commemorate the long and happy marriage of William and Lillian Wolman. It is constructed of hand painted silk and metallic fabrics appliquéd on to Tergal drapery sheers and was suspended from the ceiling of the Sanctuary.
The imagery represents a successful marriage of the past and the silk rainbow that cascades to the ground has the last of the seven wedding benedictions painted on it. It means to be a rainbow of hope for the couple that marries under it.
After some years, it became impractical to suspend the Chuppah from the ceiling and it fell into disuse. However, with Rabbi Splansky’s support, it was decided that the Chuppah could have multiple uses, in addition to weddings, if supported by poles. Temma Gentles, the original creator of it, has proposed a way to do this. It has been decided that the project will now proceed with financial support from the Wolman’s once again.
Lil and Bill Wolman were married in 1919. They had two sons, Ralph and Frank, who grew up at Temple and remained Temple members with their parents and their own children. Their fifty-eight year marriage was a successful one and lasted until the passing of William in 1977. Will cared for Lil during their declining years until his own health failed, but they remained in the family home together for the duration of their lives. Although a fifty-eight year marriage is not uncommon today, it certainly was for people born in the 1890’s.
Lil Wolman was active at Temple throughout her adult life. She was Sisterhood President, was appointed to Trustee of the Temple in 1952 and as Warden in 1958. In her later years she still remained active and initiated the first Seniors’ program held every Wednesday afternoon.
It is my hope that this beautiful work of art will provide many years of inspiration at Temple in honour of our parents, William and Lillian Wolman.