|Montgomery County, Maryland, USA|
|Judaica artist, philanthropist|
|An artist who works in metal and glass, and the CEO of a philanthropic organization.|
Gary Rosenthal is a self-taught Judaica artist who heads an organization that promotes social change and empowerment through the medium of art.
Gary Rosenthal, who was born and brought up in Maryland, is an auto-didactic artist. Gary began working with welded metal in his teens helping out his father in the family stove repair shop. Gary studied Industry and Labor Relations at Cornell University, graduating in 1976 with a BSc and gained an M.B.A. from University of Virginia. While still a student, Rosenthal began to create Judaica art pieces out of welded metal, and found that he had design flair. Instead of getting a job in industrial relations, Gary soon had a thriving art design business.
Gary Rosenthal designs a whole range of contemporary ritual Judaica, from dreidels and menorahs to mezuzahs and candlesticks, using combinations of metal and glass. His pieces are very original and one of his most unusual creations is his vertical Passover Seder Plate. Gary Rosenthal is always coming up with new designs such as his woven copper mezuzahs for his Judaica collection.
 The Foundation
With the success of his Judaica business, Gary Rosenthal set up a Foundation to enable him to give back to the community as a whole. ‘Tikkun Olam’ (repairing the world) is an important part of Jewish thought and Gary created his foundation to empower people and create social change through art. Gary Rosenthal’s Foundation raises money for a large range of art enrichment projects including inter-generational activities based on art and art activities aimed especially at children. A proportion of the money raised from his Art as a Catalyst project goes to fund his foundation.
 Art as a Catalyst
Gary Rosenthal created his ‘Art as a Catalyst’ project to help find employment and training for Special Needs groups and individuals. This organization also enables community groups and other non-profits to get involved in a variety of art projects to empower people through art. Art as a Catalyst also helps people to fund-raise for specific projects and thereby creating social change for individuals and communities alike, regardless if they are Jewish or not. Gary Rosenthal himself employs two autistic workers in his studio as part of the artisan team that produces his Judaica creations.
 Hiddur Mitzvah Project
Another one of Gary’s projects which helps encourage empowerment through art and social action is his Hiddur Mitzvah Project aimed at members of the wider Jewish community. This enables individuals and groups to create their own Judaica in workshops using specially designed kits. The Mitzvah Projects can be linked to inter-generational activities or similar workshops to fund-raise for deprived or isolated Jewish communities’ e.g. in South America.
 The Kristallnacht Project
Inspiration for the Kristallnacht Project came when the Holocaust Museum in Washington asked Gary to create something suitable for their shop. 600 Jewish communities world-wide would each create one foot square glass mosaic which would then be put together by Rosenthal’s studio and fired to form a 600 foot long glass wall. This glass wall memorial - would symbolically repair what was broken on Kristallnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass.
Gary Rosenthal’s art work has been presented to Presidents and film stars alike. It can be found in a wide range of museums and private collections including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Jewish Museum and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
Gary’s Judaica is also available online and through his various projects. As of 2013 Gary Rosenthal lives and works in Montgomery County, Maryland.