When I started metalsmithing, it was as if I took the tools out of my back pocket. It felt right. Clearly this was something I was meant to do-- all the time. I was using my grandparents’ story of survival in the Holocaust for a paper in a university class on the Holocaust and Genocide when my grandfather started giving me his tools. With the help of a wonderful metal arts teacher the idea for my first mezuzahs came into being. They had flames, jail bars, and barbed wire on them, yet they preserved an important Jewish tradition that I was able to share.
In making those pieces and explaining them to the class, I felt the importance of understanding our oneness-- we all breathe, we all bleed, we all experience pleasure and pain. Historically, organized religion has not brought us together. Yet, there are tools in each religion that have value to any human regardless of faith. I want to share Torah so that anyone can use its gifts, which I believe will help soften the lines that separate us.
This art is not about converting people to Judaism; this is about understanding that we can all use the vibration of the Torah to raise our resonance, to lift ourselves, to come into peace and harmony with ourselves and the world. The word Israel means: one who has come through a challenging experience while maintaining love in their heart. This is the spirit of the Israel that I envision in the world and the one I wish to share through my art.