December 10, 2001
Blank names institute for Rabbi Tam
By Kim Shreckengost
Arthur Blank announced last week that Emorys Institute for Jewish
Studies, to which he recently donated $5 million, will be named in honor
of Atlanta Rabbi Donald Tam. Blank made the announcement Dec. 5 as he
accepted the Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award from the Anti-Defamation
League southeast region.
Blanks $5 million challenge grant, which came with
the caveat that Emory raise the remaining $5 million for the institutes
desired $10 million endowment, gave him naming rights for the Jewish studies
It gives me great pleasure to announce tonight that this fine program
will be named The Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies in honor
of a man who has guided and counseled me for the past 23 years of my life,
said Blank, cofounder and retired cochairman of The Home Depot. I
cant think of a more appropriate way to recognize a man who exemplifies
the power of combining wisdom and understanding of human relationships
in overcoming differences.
In reflecting on Tams unique qualities, Blank noted that the rabbi
was not just a spiritual leader, but a leader of spirit.
While we aspire to his values, he nurtures the individual good
in others, Blank said. He helps people be the best of who
they are, not a mold of someone else. He recognizes and supports all the
things that make people consistently good.
Donald Tam has served as rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell since
1987. He received his Rabbinical Ordination in 1973 from Hebrew Union
College, Jewish Institute of Religion, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Doctor
of Divinity in 1998 from the same institution. Tam is involved in a number
of Jewish and community organizations, including the Atlanta Rabbinical
Association, and serves on the board of North Fulton Community Charities
and the Jewish practices committee of the New Jewish High School.
Emory hopes to use the endowment funds for the Tam Institute in a number of areas, including faculty infrastructure and scholarship and curriculum expansion. The institute also plans to engage in more outreach work, including increased cross-program teaching with the Candler School of Theology.