When I visited the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington this past November, I did not, much to my regret, get to see the African Lounge, and the Russian Lounge simply left me—well, cold. But as soon as I entered the Israeli Lounge, I was impressed—scratched that, overwhelmed—by the level of its detail and its palpable sense of history.
As the name of the room suggests, and like much else I saw in this DC landmark, this was a gift from a foreign nation: in this case, Israel. What you see here is the ceiling, with 40 wooden panels, showing musical events described in the Old Testament: Joshua at the walls of Jericho, David playing the harp, Miriam dancing triumphantly, and a choir on the temple steps.
Those who come into this space—80 standing for cocktail receptions, 60 for seated dinners—can’t help coming away with a feeling of awe, I firmly believe.