The National Museum of American Jewish History was asked to choose a historical menorah from it’s permanent collection to be considered for the White House Hanukkah party, which took place on December 2, 2010.
I waited to hear back for weeks. To be honest, I had an inner calm about it and had a positive, optimistic and hopeful feeling. But, when no word came, I began to loose hope that it would be chosen. Indeed, I found that at the White House Hanukkah Party the menorah used was one that was pulled out of the mud in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Louisiana.
I can definitely understand their choice. I do feel disappointed though, and I wanted to share with you a little more about my menorah and the statement we wrote to accompany it. Here’s an image of the piece and the statement we submitted. I’d be curious for your feedback.
Life Source Menorah
We live in a historical time of dissension and strife and all share a great need to come together with hope. The Life Source Menorah represents a vision for peace. Its organic form–reminiscent of both flames and flowers–embodies the message that we are born of one Source—the energy or inner light that exists within all of us regardless of religion or beliefs. A breakthrough piece for American contemporary Judaica artist Aimee Golant, this work reflects her heritage as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. It carries the message of renewed hope—leaving behind what’s complicated while moving toward what’s simple yet so very important—love, the soul, the oneness of all humanity. The fact that this menorah exists at all is a testament to the perseverance of Aimee’s grandparents who, after six years of torment under the Nazis, were liberated by the United States Army under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. They came to this country on the very first boat of refugees in 1946 to build new lives for themselves and create a loving family—forever grateful for the opportunities and blessings their adopted homeland afforded them. Aimee arrived at the pure representation of the Life Source Menorah after years of learning about the Holocaust and questioning her beliefs. It is her response to war and suffering in the world.
As a sixth generation metal artist, Aimee Golant creates Judaica to preserve, illuminate, and share the universal teachings within Judaism. Born in Los Angeles, California, she began a career as an independent metal artist creating Judaica and jewelry upon her graduation from San Francisco State University. She exhibits and sells her unique metal art internationally. Aimee has won many honors. The Jewish Museum of New York acquired of one of her evocative mezuzahs for its permanent collection. Her Barbed Wire Mezuzah traveled into space on the Columbia Space Shuttle and the Space Shuttle Atlantis. She has received the NICHE Award for her Bars and Windows Menorah and the Golden Hammer Award for her outstanding community service through the San Francisco Bay Area Metal Arts Guild. She created the crown for the Women’s Torah Project, one of the first documented Torahs scribed by a community of women from around the world. The crown has been on display at The Jewish Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Her work was recently featured in the art book, 500 Judaica: Innovative Contemporary Ritual Art.
In taking to heart the Jewish teaching of tzedakah or giving to charity, Aimee has created mezuzot and jewelry benefiting the Darfur and Women’s Empowerment programs through the American Jewish World Service; the Holocaust and Diversity programs at Whitwell Middle School in Whitwell, Tennessee; the Jewish Women’s Breast Cancer organization Sharsharet; and a special edition tzedakah box gift for outgoing board members of Jewish Family and Children’s Services in San Francisco. She created a Chai pin pendant that has helped raise funds for the Upper Mid-West Region of Hadassah.
Aimee had shown her art and demonstrated jewelry making at The Legion of Honor, one of San Francisco’s premier museums. She lectures widely on her work and teaches metal art. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and young son.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:19:47 AM America/Los_Angeles
I have had the great honor of creating a custom Chai for Hadassah for their “Chai Society.” These pieces were originally commissioned by the Upper Midwest Region of Hadassah. Now the Diablo Valley Chapter will aslo adopt these as an option for their Chai Society. If you are a member of Hadassah and you would like for your chapter to carry the Chais, please let your chapter know and keep me posted.
In the meantime, here’s a little more information about the organization and the Chai Society program. If you join the “Chai Society” it means that you have pledged an annual donation to the organization. I am a life member of Hadassah. I believe in their Hospital in Israel that serves people of all faiths. This is the largest Jewish Women’s Organization in the world. What greater honor? Are you a member?
Now, a little about the jewelry. A picture says a 1000 words, so here are some images:
Here’s the process I used to create the master…..
Here are some of the pieces finished in pewter: (I offer the pieces cast in pewter, bronze, silver or gold.)