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Aimee Golant

WTP Rimonim

In April, 2009, jewelry and metal artist Aimee Golant completed the pair of rimonim she created for the Women's Torah Project. Aimee used copper, silver, 22k gold and a brown diamond to create these Torah crowns, which are 3 x 10 x 11".

Here's Aimee's statement about the rimonim.

CROWNING OUR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

I have designed crowns to reflect the bold new direction taken by the Women's Torah Project, which opens the door for women to break the time-honored tradition that allows only men to scribe the Torah.

These Torah adornments combine the best of tradition, starting with the pomegranate, the sacred Shiv'at Ha-Minim mentioned in Exodus as the symbol of both righteousness and fruitfulness, here shown in warm earth tone materials - copper and a brown diamond, accented with silver and 22k gold. At the same time I have created a clean, purposeful and sculptural design which is intentionally contemporary and reflective of the dialogue evoked by the Project.

In my own life, as a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and full time metal artist, I have devoted my artistic career to making Judaica that will preserve, illuminate and share Jewish traditions while honoring women building pathways to new and exciting futures.

Thanks to all of you who donated money to help cover the cost of creating creating these crowns.


Aimee Golant

Please join us in getting to know Aimee Golant

Aimee Golant, www.aimeegolant.com, was recruited for the Women's Torah Project as we thought her work would be a perfect fit for the project. Aimee will make the Torah's crown. She plans to make the pieces out of copper and precious stones. Aimee's desire to ensure that the Women's Torah is magnificently embellished led to the secondary fundraising campaign that she has undertaken.

From the artist...

Aimee Golant at workI made my first mezuzah cases in 1993, one year after I began the process of learning metalsmithing. I was 20 years old, questioning my faith, a Sociology major, and a sophomore in college wanting to understand how something like the Holocaust could have happened. I wanted to prevent future atrocities like this from occurring. I wanted to preserve a tradition. I wanted to know, how could there be a G-d, given the fact of the Holocaust? My first mezuzahs struck a chord within me to such a degree that I felt a need to make more.

My need to preserve tradition was as strong as a baby's drive to crawl and then walk. I proclaimed no faith in G-d but I knew that, as a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, every day I lived was a victory over Nazi brutality. My talent in metal was innate, as I come from a long line of precision tool and die makers and blacksmiths. Using my grandpa's hand tools, and investing any money I had, I designed my line of limited-production mezuzah cases and started my business in 1998, selling them to individuals and stores around the country.

About eight years after making my first cases, I began to study the text on the mezuzah scroll. That's when I went through a spiritual transformation. I felt that the Sh'ma and V'hafta prayers were profound and universal, and that the mezuzah was a gift from G-d, reminding us of how to create sacred space, and ultimately a peaceful world. I designed a tag that would accompany each mezuzah, giving the teaching, so that any human being who wanted to understand and use the mezuzah as part of their personal spiritual practice could. To be honest, nothing makes me feel more important than making Judaica (I am not yet a mother). It is an honor, and it helps me give positive meaning to my family's experience as survivors of the Holocaust.

Personally, I believe that the teachings within Judaism are universal. The Source of Life (G-d) is the same for everyone, regardless of faith affiliation. I use my Judaica to teach people of all faiths how we Jews see G-d—as being everywhere and a part of everything; that there is a vast oneness here on earth; and that we are all interconnected. I want to create a peaceful world through the making of Judaica. Once I began this spiritual path, why would I want to make anything else? As an artist, I refuse to make things just because I know they will sell, such as a Star of David. I make jewelry of the Hebrew letter shin because the meanings are universal: shaddai, protection; Shekhinah, feminine presence of G-d; sh'ma, not just "hear" but understand, and of course shalom, peace.

As my work moves forward with the Women's Torah Project, I plan to create a crown that both glorifies the beauty in the meaning and tradition of studying Torah and also encourages a dialogue among Jews and non-Jews on the meaning of Torah. As women, we are naturally compassionate as we give birth to all nations. May this women-scribed Torah usher in an era of greater compassion and understanding of one another and of our most holy treasure. May we do justice to this historical and life-changing event, through our art and in representing this Torah to our people and all people who encounter it.

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