6 Million Pop-Can Tabs, 6 Million Jewish Lives

The Community Day School is set to unveil a historic public-art installation this Sunday.

Artist rendering courtesy of Community Day School


How can you possibly get a classroom full of eighth-graders to comprehend the true scale and tragedy of the Holocaust? That was the question facing Community Day School history teacher Bill Walter in 1995. How could he make the enormous number of Jewish casualties — an unfathomable 6 million — feel real to his students?

Walter knew he needed something tangible to represent the lives lost. Something that people discard without a second thought.

Then the idea came to him: pop-can tabs.

Walter challenged his students to collect 6 million tabs to represent the Jewish lives that were lost. The project was passed down from class to class, involving hundreds of students. Tabs were collected at block parties, weddings, churches, synagogues and beauty salons. Soon, the glass tanks in Walter’s classroom were filled floor-to-ceiling with tabs.

Now, 18 years later, the CDS students have not only achieved their goal, but they also will see the project live on as a reminder for generations. The 6 million tabs will be incorporated into a sculpture made up of 960 glass blocks, creating a 7- to 9-foot high segmented Star of David. The sculpture will be housed at a new urban park on the CDS campus.

The historic public art installation will be dedicated at a special ceremony and public viewing at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday.

For more information, visit the CDS Keeping Tabs Facebook page.


#Boost: Mediterra Bakehouse receives loan from Whole Foods


Built on the foundation of using quality ingredients and tried-and-true European baking methods, Mediterra Bakehouse remains a favorite for croissants, hearty loaves and buns. Its crusty breads pair well with simple spreads and honey — the kinds of products you'd find in your local Whole Foods Market, which stocks Mediterra products.

This evening, the Pittsburgh bread-maker will receive a check from Whole Foods, as part of its Local Producer Loan Program. Starting at 5 p.m., crew members at Whole Foods in East Liberty will pass out samples of Mediterra breads in various preparations. Owner Nick Ambeliotis will be presented with his loan at 6:30 p.m.; funds will go toward the expansion of Mediterra’s offerings.

(Photo by Laura Petrilla)


What’s going on tonight?


  • Head to Franktuary in Lawrenceville for Full-Contact Trivia for good food and a good time. — 8-10 p.m.


  • Catch a “B-style” flick at Root 174 during its (free!) monthly movie night; guests can enjoy Root’s original popcorn recipes and inventive cuisine. — seating: 9 p.m.; screening: 9:30 p.m.

Categories: The 412