Megillah Holder by Artist Tobi Kahn : Gifted to HUC-JIR/NY by Ben and Gloria DeYoung - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Megillah Holder by Artist Tobi Kahn : Gifted to HUC-JIR/NY by Ben and Gloria DeYoung

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.