From the very first time Mark Rosenbaum saw a glass-blowing demonstration, the drama of it took hold of his senses and has not let go. I’ll never forget his telling me about the experience of discovering his artistic passion: “It was hot. It was loud. It was magic. And it found my heart.”
Mark is the newest addition to the Traditions Jewish Gifts lineup of talented artists producing fabulous Judaica that’s perfect for special life events like weddings and Jewish holidays like Passover. Gifts that come from Mark’s studio are truly one of a kind because there is no mold – just the molten materials, a fiery hot room and a very talented artist with a concept at the end of a glass blower’s hollow rod. As a result, every piece is original.
Another thing that makes his art unique is a new technique he’s created for a line of products we’ll be featuring in the Traditions Jewish Gifts online catalog. Here’s how it works: In the Jewish culture, we love to preserve our memories of special occasions. This practice has made the traditional, decorative mezuzah for storing memorabilia one of the most popular Jewish gifts that people buy.
But Mark takes the idea of the traditional mezuzah and “kicks it up a notch” by actually incorporating the treasured items into the art. So instead of making empty mezuzahs for weddings, for example, he works with special glass “jelly beans” (glass that’s resistant to high temperatures so it doesn’t melt) that the groom has stomped on. Then, through the magic of glass blowing, he creates paperweights or vases in which the shards are suspended in the blown glass.
Another thing unique about Mark’s work is that the place he creates it is just as hot, loud and magical as the art itself. A native of Connecticut, Mark opened the first glass-blowing studio in New Orleans – actually the first in Louisiana – after earning a master of fine arts degree from Tulane University. He operates from an old, 6,000-square-foot movie theater, where the front half is a beautiful, air-conditioned gallery, and the back is where the action is in his studio. You can take a virtual tour here.broken glass after the wedding ceremony, crushed wedding glass, Crushed Wedding Glass Mezuzah, glass mezuzah, groom, Jewish, Jewish Art, Jewish Culture, Jewish gift, Jewish Gifts, Jewish Holiday, Jewish holidays, Jewish Wedding
Gary Rosenthal is one of those rare people who can look at a lump of cold metal and envision something exquisite. He takes ordinary copper, brass and steel,melts it, combines it with fused glass and magically transforms it into stunning Judaic art. Gary’s collection is always in demand with our customers at Traditions Jewish Gifts because it’s perfectly functional and yet beautiful enough to enhance a home’s décor.
I met Gary in 1994 and know that he discovered his natural talent for metalworking by serendipity. He dropped out of Cornell University after his sophomore year and went to work in his father’s appliance repair business. That’s where he learned about welding and how he could create amazing art by shaping molten metals.
Gary started out in the mid-1970s making and selling large decorative wall pieces. Soon he added a series of small figurines depicting hobbyists such as dancers and scuba divers. When he featured these items at an art show in Baltimore, a customer admired them and asked if he could make a menorah in a similar style. When Gary agreed, he opened the door to amazing artistic opportunities.
Gary always shows great intuition in knowing what people will like and use for major Jewish holidays and life events. For weddings, for example, the bride-to-be might choose a special mezuzah from the Gary Rosenthal Collection, and insert a personal note to her bridesmaids or small gift for her guests. His other mezuzahs are absolutely lovely for displaying glass shards from the marriage ceremony.
I especially like Gary’s Heartholders group. It features memorable gifts such as picture frames and bookends that allow recipients to complete a gift by making their own additions – everything from photos to glass shards and other small mementos. Many of these items can also be inscribed with names, dates and special text.
To see Gary’s work, check out Traditions Jewish Gifts’ online catalog. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. And if you’re looking for a great gift, don’t miss our limited-time discount on Gary’s collection. Simply go to our home page or the Gary Rosenthal page of our website for details.Tags: Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, Gary Rosenthal Collection, Hanukkah, Hanukkah gifts, High Holidays, Jewish Bride and Groom, Jewish Gifts, Jewish holidays, jewish mezuzahs, Jewish Wedding Gift, Judaica, Judaica Artist, Judaica Artists, Menorah, Mezuzah
Shalom and welcome to TraditionsJewishGifts.com, the online extension of our family-owned Traditions Judaica Gifts store at the Festival Market in South Florida’s Pompano Beach. Those of you who’ve visited our store know that we offer one of the largest collections of Judaica gifts in the world. However, what you may not know is that our business is founded on the same Jewish traditions we celebrate with our customers daily.
Traditions Jewish Gifts started in 1991 with a humble 10 x 10 booth at the Festival Flea Market Mall. Armed with just a small collection of Judaica gifts and specialty items, our founder, Louise, set up shop. It wasn’t long before business boomed. So she opened up another booth. These two booths turned into three. The three booths turned to four. Eventually, Louise’s success enabled her to open up a full-fledged store at the back of the mall.
The store flourished — and not just because of the heavy tourist traffic or Traditions’ huge assortment of Jewish gifts. Though a customer may walk in for a Mezuzah pendant or a silver-plated menorah, they’d find themselves lingering to share memories or swap stories with Louise. The engraved rings reminded them of their own wedding day; the Torah gifts, of their own bar mitzvahs.
It wasn’t a store built only sales. It was a store built on traditions.
Our family has its own traditional story to tell, thanks to the wise, matchmaking eye of Louise. I first met Louise while running my own Judaica family business. My father and I sold our handcrafted Judaica jewelry to different specialty stores across the country and Louise had been one of our customers. We often visited her store to learn how our products were doing. On one such visit, Louise looked me over and told me she had another place for me to sell my jewelry.
“You should go to Aventura Mall,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “My son has opened up another store there. You’d do very well there. Go talk to him.”
I demurred, but she insisted. So I found myself heading out to Aventura. I met her son Brad and soon enough, I realized why she had sent me there. Louise wasn’t trying to help me with my business, she was trying to set up a match!
Louise had her matchmaker hat on all along, and apparently she knew exactly what she was doing. Brad and I fell in love and we were married a year later.
Matched and married thanks to a Jewish matriarch, taking over the family business: what could be more traditional than that?
When Louise retired in 2007, Brad closed his Aventura store to manage Louise’s Festival Mall store. Brad and I have taken on the traditions Louise left for us. When our child was born, I started TraditionsJewishGifts.com as a way to expand the business from home, where I could still take care of our newborn child. And as our child grew, so did our business! We’ve gone from a small home office to an entire warehouse: just like Louise had gone from a small booth to a full-fledged store.
Our business lets us help our customers celebrate the same milestones and traditions we’ve celebrated in our own lives. As a result, we’ve kept traditions alive for thousands of satisfied customers. We pride ourselves in our customer service: if you can’t find something online, call or email us. We’ll work our hardest to find it for you.
And if you’re ever in South Florida, stop by and see us. Enjoy the sunshine. Browse our beautiful collection of Judaica gifts. And ask us about Louise: we’ll be glad to tell you about her.
Traditions Jewish Gifts is happy to introduce a great way to transform your kitchen with fun and easy to install Dishwasher Covers. Each Dishwasher Cover is available with either a magnetic backing or adhesive backing. Whichever option you choose they are removable, reusable and easy to clean. The covers are offered in six unique styles. Dove of Peace is designed with soft mosaic colors; a white dove with an olive branch in its mouth representing peace and the word shalom beautifully written on the Dove’s body. Add some fun to your kitchen with the Chalkboard cover. Make a shopping list, write a message, or just let the kids be creative with any color chalk. Show your pride for Israel with the Israeli flag cover whether just for Independence Day or all year round. The Hamsa Home blessing cover has the Birkat Habayit “Home Blessing” beautifully written inside the Hamsa “Hand of God” with a background that looks like a designer slab of granite. Celebrate Passover with our Passover Matzah cover.
This cover transforms your dishwasher into one large matzah. Because it’s reusable you can use it for many Passovers to come. For the wine lover we have the Old World Wine cover featuring a great reproduction of a wonderful oil painting. Whichever cover you choose, your family, relatives and friends will marvel at the amazing transformation of your dishwasher and kitchen.Tags: dishwasher covers, Jewish Gifts, Jewish holidays, jewish kitchens, Judaica, traditions jewish gifts, traditionsjewishgifts, TraditionsJewishGifts.com
When you think of eating on Purim, the first thing that comes to mind is that delicious triangular-shaped pastry called Hamantashen. This pastry loved by so many is filled with a variety of sweet ingredients, including berries and chocolate. At Traditions Jewish Gifts, we can’t bake the Hamantashen for you, but we can provide some appetizing items for the perfect Purim presentation.
The “Happy Purim” Triangular Melamine Tray is an eye-catching way to display your Hamantashen to guests. Sized at 11″ x 9 1/2″, this bright, beautiful tray will be all that’s left after you put out the Hamantashen. The design is every bit as attractive as what used to be on it.
If the tray isn’t big enough, you may need a big bowl of Hamantashen to accommodate all of your guests! The Happy Purim Melamine Square Bowl is your answer. Standing six inches high and featuring bright festive colors, the bowl is perfect for those tasty triangular-shaped pastries.
Purim is one of the most popular Jewish holidays of the year. It’s all about enjoying fun times with family, eating great food and making some noise! From your friends at Traditions Jewish Gifts, happy Purim!
- 10% on all Gary Rosenthal Art. Use Coupon Code: GARY10.
- Save 10% off all Tzedakah Boxes. Use Coupon Code: Charity10. Offer valid through 2/17/12. http://www.traditionsjewishgifts.com/Tzedakahbox-all.html
- Purim Gift Promo: Free Shipping with a $50 min. order on select Purim Items. Use Coupon Code: BadHaman. Offer valid through 3/5/12.
- Become our newest Facebook Fan here: https://www.facebook.com/TraditionsJewishGifts
- Enter our Pinterest contest with a chance to win a $25 gift card: http://www.traditionsjewishgifts.com/Pinterest_Contest.html