One of my favorite artists who makes unique Jewish gifts is Sara Beames of Beames Designs. From the studio attached to her home tucked into New York’s Catskill Mountains, she crafts beautiful, handmade fused-glass Judaica and home accessories. Sara’s pieces are extraordinary creations that our customers love to give as gifts to commemorate a Jewish holiday or special occasion. Her mezuzahs, menorahs, Shabbat accessories, tzedakah boxes and picture frames are among the most popular.
An artist through and through, Sara says she can’t remember a time when she didn’t feel a creative spark. A native New Yorker, she began working in pottery at the age of 11 and apprenticed with a potter in her senior year of high school. In college, she discovered glass as a medium and knew she had found her passion the first time she sandwiched a design between two pieces of glass and fired it in a kiln. She finished her degree in art at San Francisco State University and became active in a large Bay Area community of artists working in glass.
Sara’s first commercial pieces were home accessories, but once her work began to appear at the various retail and wholesale craft shows around the country, she began getting requests for Jewish gifts. So she put her creativity to work to develop unique, fused-glass pieces that celebrate Jewish traditions.
The great thing about Sara’s work is that it’s not only beautiful, but also functional and reasonably priced. Her designs incorporate iconic Jewish images such as the 12 Tribes and the Tree of Life, and she’s always experimenting with new elements to add color and effect such as paper confetti, ground glass, fibers or dichroic glass, a material originally created for NASA space shuttles that reflects light in interesting ways.
Known for its quality and originality, Sara’s work can be found in homes around the world. She has three nominations for Niche Awards, a program that honors excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft.
While Sara is the creative genius behind Beames Designs, it’s her Aussie husband, Michael, who runs the business and is in charge of final quality control. The two of them make a great team.
All of us at Traditions Jewish Gifts love Sara’s work and like to recommend it to customers who need a Jewish gift that’s functional, memorable and beautifully out of the ordinary. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a look at Sara’s work in our online catalog, where we feature many, many of her products.Tags: Judaica Artists, Judaica gifts, Menorah, Sara Beames, Shabbat, traditions jewish gifts, TraditionsJewishGifts.com
As an adolescent, I never stopped to think about how wise my parents were to take me to Israel for my Bat Mitzvah. Our ceremony took place in the stone temple on top of Masada, the ancient fortress on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert. I was so excited by the spectacular views of the Dead Sea, the historic surroundings and the whole experience I was sharing with the 18 others on our Bar Mitzvah – Bat Mitzvah tour, I couldn’t think beyond the moment.
It wasn’t until years later when I traveled to Israel again that I understood my mom and dad had given me so much more than a great vacation. Every time I leaf through the photo album of the trip, or handle my parents’ gift of the Jewish star necklace I had admired at a Judaica store in Jerusalem, I’m moved by the memory of my special day. To me, these Bat Mitzvah gifts symbolize the rich traditions of Judaism, my passage into adulthood and my role as a woman in the Jewish faith.
That’s how meaningful gifts are. They go beyond the item itself to remind us of life’s milestones and the special people who share them with us.
A child’s Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah is the perfect opportunity to give a uniquely Jewish gift with special meaning. Our artisans’ collection at Traditions Jewish Gifts makes it easy to choose the right one. A handcrafted yad to help the young man or woman keep their place during the reading of the Torah, a beautiful tzedakah box to help them save for gifts to charity, an artisan-designed kiddush cup for drinking wine or a pair of candlesticks to light for Shabbat or any holiday – all make memorable Jewish gifts.
My own daughter, Amanda, is preparing for Bat Mitzvah in a few years. Our celebration plans aren’t firm yet, but a few things are certain: It will be a festive day shared with family and remembered for the rest of her life.Tags: Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, Gary Rosenthal Collection, Jewish Gifts, Judaica Artists, Judaica gifts, made in Israel, traditions jewish gifts, tzedakah
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
What would Passover be without some Matzah fun? Traditions Jewish Gifts has many offerings that celebrate the unleveled bread. Whether it is the Matza Ball Salt & Pepper Shakers or a Matza Necktie we have something for every Matza lover. Give your Passover guests a laugh with a Matza Designed Toilet Seat Coverwith the phrase “Let My People Go” printed on it.
Love to cook but need some inspiration for Passover? Try the Matza 101 Innovative Cookbook, with 101 fun creative recipes, all using Matza. If you like fun thought provoking conversations we have The Passover Box of Questions. Learn about the traditions and meaning of Passover. Spark lasting memories and conversation with questions like; If you could write your own Ten Commandments what would the first three be? So, celebrate your love of Matza with a gift from Traditions Jewish Gifts!Tags: fun with matza, Matzah, matzah gifts, Passover, traditions jewish gifts