The Temple Isaiah (Lafayette, CA) Commemorative “Infinity Shin” Mezuzah was created in honor of the retirement of Rabbi Judy Shanks. Rabbi Shanks is a wise and kind person, who has supported my efforts in creating more beauty, peace and understanding in the world. I am grateful to her and wanted to help honor her in her retirement. This collaborative piece was one element of a very special night dedicated to all of her many years of hard work and devotion to the Temple Isaiah Congregation and community.
The gift was a surprise, so we shared a special hug at the gala event!
Months before the event, the “Infinity Shin” design was carefully chosen by myself and Temple Isaiah committee members with the special help of Sandy Anderson. The Hebrew letter Shin is typically found on a mezuzah case because it is an abbreviation for the aspect of G-d named Shaddai. The Infinity-Shin shape, also present in the Temple Isaiah logo, visually symbolizes the everlasting-eternal nurturing aspect of G-d. This voluptous shape has an elegant femininity, which I especially liked in honoring this feminist/female rabbi. By tying in the Isaiah branding with this piece, it will help connect it with this proactive and progressive community for generations to come.
Here’s a bit about the process: We began with three sketches and an agreement spelling out the dimensions, deadline etc.
Once the design was approved, I got to work on the master original in copper and sterling silver.
Finally her gift was completed.
This is what the copper and silver one-of-a-kind custom mezuzah gift looked like once it was finished.
It was presented to her as a special gift at the Life, Legacy L’Chaim Gala on March 24, 2018.
From Left: Rabbi Judy Shanks, me, David Casella (my husband and fellow artist.)
Here are Rabbi Judy Shanks’ remarks upon receiving the mezuzah: “I am so grateful to our Temple Isaiah community for turning once again to Aimee Golant for artistic and spiritual inspiration. And once again she created for us a ritual object that links us in great beauty to Jewish tradition, to our special synagogue community, and to the voice of women enhancing Judaism for all the generations to come. Thank you Aimee for this unique and beautiful honor as I retire from Temple Isaiah.”
Limited edition, cast pewter replicas are offered for sale as a fundraiser for the temple. These meaningful pieces, cast in pewter, will be offered for sale on aimeegolant.com for $72 which will include a 10% donation to Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, in honor of Rabbi Shanks, beginning in 2019.
This is what the pewter replicas look like. They are about 4″ x 1.5″ x .5″ Kosher scrolls are sold separately, but they come with a paper scroll. If you would like to purchase one now for $72 from Temple Isaiah online through April 17 at https://templeisaiahofcc.schoolauction.net/gala2018/catalog. After April 18 available through the WOI Gift Shop at https://temple-isaiah.org/community/gift-shop/. Questions? Please contact Temple Isaiah (925) 283-8575. Each one includes a tag with hanging instructions, nails, and a short message about the design and Rabbi Judy Shanks.
This project was a wonderful collaboration in which the honoree and the congregation received a unique and lasting piece of art. The pewter replica mezuzahs make great ongoing gifts for the b’nai mitzvot, confirmation class or for outgoing board members. I loved making this unique and beautiful mezuzah with all my heart.
Please let me know if you’d like to embark on a custom piece with me. Every piece and project is unique and different. Click the link to learn more about custom commissions.