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A mezuzah lost in space

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 4 (JTA) — For San Francisco artist Aimee Golant, the Columbia shuttle disaster took on a personal meaning. Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon was carrying a mezuzah created by the 29-year-old artist. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Golant said the mezuzah was made from sterling silver with a copper Jewish star ringed in barbed wire. It was presented to the astronaut by the 1939 Club of Los Angeles, a Holocaust survivors’ organization where Golant’s grandparents and mother are members. “The idea behind the mezuzah is to me creating sacred space,” said Golant. With the disaster, “My heart goes out to his family, more than anything,” she said. Golant said she had e-mailed the astronaut before the launch, seeking his permission to publicize the fact that her mezuzah was going into space. “He asked that I not do it,” Golant said. “He felt that the people who were meant to know would know.”