When Ben DeYoung sought an original way in which to celebrate the occasion of his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife, Georgia Katz DeYoung, he chose a uniquely meaningful strategy. He commissioned a beautiful Megillah Holder, entitled DAHSA VIII, by the renowned contemporary artist Tobi Kahn and presented it as a gift, in honor of his wife, to the New York campus. Prominently exhibited in the Petrie Great Hall at the entrance to the Minnie Petrie Synagogue, the Megillah Holder greets all those who enter the sanctuary for worship and educational programs. Tobi Kahn is a celebrated contemporary artist who has devoted his artistic creativity to the creation of Jewish ceremonial objects, in addition to his abstract paintings and sculptures. His Megillah Holder, constructed of wood and acrylic, is a geometric structure whose iridescent blue surface emits a spiritual aura. The sculpture bears a dedication plaque with a meditation written by the author Nessa Rapoport (© 2004):
Hidden within, heroine, turn our lot from lament to
festivity, from silence to deliverance, the darkening
chamber lit by a single star, repeal the harsh decree
with words of peace and beauty, honor those who
pay tribute from afar: Did you not attain royalty for
this appointed hour?
The HUC-JIR campus is most grateful to the DeYoung’s for their generosity in presenting this work of art as a vital, artistic component to our community of learning, worship, and social action.