Reflections on Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture by Bill Walter

December 14, 2021

Speaker: Bill Walter, retired eighth-grade social studies and history teacher who taught at Community Day School (CDS) for 23 years
Bill Walter will talk about his role in creating the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture on the CDS campus. Borrowing an idea from a school in Illinois, he spearheaded students’ efforts to collect 6 million pop-can tabs to represent Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. Students collected tabs over an 18-year period (1995-2013) at block parties, weddings, churches, synagogues, and beauty salons, surrounding school districts, and people worldwide.  They counted the tabs before placing them in 150 glass aquarium tanks stacked from floor to ceiling in Bill’s classroom. In 2013, through the efforts of Elena Hiatt Houlihan, an artist-in-residence with the Pennsylvania Arts Council, and Alan Dunn, a local architect, the 6 million pop-can tabs were given a permanent place in a Star of David-shaped sculpture made of 960 glass blocks and assembled into a 9-foot-high sculpture, displayed in a park setting on the CDS campus on Forward Avenue at the intersection of Beechwood Boulevard.

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