Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


December 10, 2001

Blank names institute for Rabbi Tam

By Kim Shreckengost


Arthur Blank announced last week that Emory’s 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.

Blank’s $5 million “challenge” grant, which came with the caveat that Emory raise the remaining $5 million for the institute’s desired $10 million endowment, gave him naming rights for the Jewish studies center.

“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 can’t 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 Tam’s 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.


Back to Emory Report December 10, 2001