High-profile commercial real estate broker Edie Laquer has donated $3 million to Miami Beach’s Temple Beth Sholom and presented a sculpture that has been placed outside the synagogue.
The bulk of the contribution is for the temple’s philanthropic activities like scholarships and funding kindergarten and preschool for children whose parents can’t afford it, Laquer said.
The 8-foot-tall bronze and gold sculpture is Laquer’s way to contribute to the congregation she joined about two years ago and commemorate her late parents, Polish-born Holocaust survivors Peggy and Michael Tredler.
Laquer and the temple commissioned Spanish artist Faustino Aizkorbe to create something to convey a Holocaust message, she said. The artwork, titled “HaMinyan” or “The Gathering,” is a tribute to the requirement in Judaism to have at least 10 Jewish adults present during certain religious gatherings. The sculpture includes 10 representational columns.
“It’s lovely that it’s a tribute to my parents. It’s heartwarming for it to be an opportunity for me to give to others,” Laquer said, adding the sculpture is visible from the street. ”It’s accessible to everyone rather than being behind gates. … The choice was to do this so it would be visible to everyone, Jewish or otherwise.”
Initially, Laquer and the temple considered commissioning designs by architecture schools. But while she was flying to Colombia, she saw a photo of Aizkorbe’s work as an art dealer flipped through some art images.
“Even though he is not Jewish, he had a strong affinity with this project, and he was able to in his own way give us his own interpretation of what this dedication sculpture should look like,” Laquer said.