Podwal had the honor of designing for the United States Mint the Congressional Gold Medal presented to Elie Wiesel by President Ronald Reagan. Another medal Podwal designed was for the Echo Foundation.
A Congressional Gold Medal specifically commemorates the person and achievement for which the medal is awarded. Medals are therefore different in appearance, and there is no standard design. In 1995 Podwal was asked to design the reverse of the medal awarded to Elie Wiesel. Podwal’s design is of an open book with one page depicting Wiesel’s home in Sighet and on the other page an image of Jerusalem. Also, included are Hebrew letters spelling the words of Psalm 137:5: If I forget thee. The obverse portrait of Wiesel is based on a photograph by Roman Vishniac.
The Echo Foundation commissioned Podwal to design the “Sandra and Leon Levine Medal for Life.” Inspiration for the medal’s design came from the Levines’ philanthropic activities and their Jewish heritage. The obverse of the medal evokes an ancient Israeli coin, featuring a lyre and the biblical verse Psalm 89:3 in Paleo-Hebrew. The reverse is inscribed with the same verse, which reads, “The world is built upon loving kindness,” in both Paleo-Hebrew and English.