Unique gifts are my specialty, and so when I heard about the special gift my friend Esther was giving herself for a milestone birthday, I knew she was on to something. You see, Esther marked her fortieth with a truly meaningful gift: bat mitzvah.
She grew up a Sephardic Jew and went to an Orthodox temple. At the time, the practice of 12-year-old girls marking their passage into adult Jewish life wasn’t unusual, but neither was it commonplace. The bat mitzvah ceremony only came into practice in the early 20th century, breaking with Jewish tradition that prohibited women from participating in religious services. It wasn’t uniformly embraced in all Jewish communities.
Esther says her parents offered her the opportunity for bat mitzvah, but she resisted because she “wasn’t interested in reading in Hebrew in front of Mom and Dad’s friends.”
It wasn’t until years later, when her own children began Hebrew studies (sometimes unenthusiastically) that Esther decided to set the example. She gave herself a year to prepare. In weekly sessions with her cantor, she learned to read Hebrew – no small accomplishment for a busy, working mom. She also learned to chant the weekly Haftarah (Jewish prophetic books) portion for the day of her ceremony.
When her big day came, Esther performed flawlessly, and there were plenty of congratulations to go around. Her family was overjoyed. In
fact, her five-year-old daughter was so happy she came on the bimah with her mom and turned a cartwheel.
It’s been four years since Esther’s bat mitzvah, and she’s still thrilled about it. She recently told me, “I know I did something worthwhile that shows my commitment to Jewish life. It’s a fantastic feeling – something every (Jewish) man and woman should do.”
If you know an adult bat mitzvah, you might be looking for a meaningful gift to help her commemorate her special day. The items you would give a younger bat mitzvah – a tzedakah box, yad, Kiddush cup or personalized photo frame – are always appropriate. But I’ve found that mature women are especially touched when they receive a woman of valor memento from one of our outstanding artists’ collections. To find just the right one, browse our online catalog and choose from many we have to offer.Tags: Bat Mitzvah, family, Gifts, TraditionsJewishGifts.com
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
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
Have you ever been invited to someone’s house and you walk in to find that they have the same piece of art hanging on their wall as you do? You thought you had found a piece of art so amazing that nobody else you know could possibly have found the same piece. At traditions Jewish gifts we have always prided ourselves on being able to offer you a selection of Jewish art that is quite unique. Today we are excited to announce that we have partnered with well know judaica artist, Gary Rosenthal to bring to you an exclusive, limited edition Seder plate.
Gary Rosenthal has created a spectacular sculpture that is not only a Seder plate but also a matzah tray. There will only be 100 pieces of this sculpture made. Each one is signed and numbered by Gary and exclusively available through TraditionsJewishGifts.com. While we can’t guarantee that your neighbor won’t also buy one we can tell you that will only 100 pieces available to the world your chances are pretty good.
This design features a triangle of colored fused glass with 24k gold calligraphy of the Seder plate foods in English and Hebrew. Each of the square copper dishes are removable for easy cleaning. The base of the Seder plate has a square metal plate that is perfect to place your Passover matzah, giving this Seder plate a multi purpose.
The escalating Seder plate stands 14″ tall and 16″ wide, for all of your guests around the table to be able to enjoy.
Also available is Gary Rosenthal’s limited edition Hanukah menorah. This too was created exclusively for TraditionsJewishGifts.com. Only 100 pieces will be made and each one comes signed and numbered by Gary Rosenthal.
Crafted from a mix of brass, copper and steel the menorah features a fused glass center formed from a collage of colorful fused glass. The menorah is 7.5″ tall x 9″ wide x 2.5″ deep.
**Special Gary Rosenthal promotion – save 10% off all Jewish gifts by Gary Rosenthal. Enter coupon code: Gary10Tags: Gary Rosenthal, Jewish Art, Limited Edition Menorah, Passover Seder Plates, TraditionsJewishGifts.com