Monday, June 6, 2011

Featured in the Jewish Exponent

My article appeared in The Jewish Exponent: June 02, 2011

The drafting table where I have been perched, creating ketubot for the past 37 years, has proven to be a ringside seat for detecting trends in the Jewish community. In honor of June, which was once peak wedding month and still is a popular time to exchange vows, here are some of my ethno-sociological observations:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trees of Life 3: Gold and Silver

Trees of Life has been wonderfully popular - the embossed gold or silver trees evoke a sheltering woodland canopy, a pairing of strength, an image of two family trees uniting, and Torah, our Tree of Life.

You can see the text options below, as well as details about presentation. Mazel tov!

Here are the texts as a slide show:

Aramaic with no English

This is a newly offered option, due to increased demand. The regel kuf is omitted, to be added prior to the ceremony.
Click to enlarge.

Aramaic with Egalitarian English

View a PDF here.

Conservative with Egalitarian English

In this new edition, I have added the MUCH requested complete Egalitarian English to accompany the Lieberman Clause/Conservative text.
View as a PDf here. (If it prints too large, adjust the googledoc setting on the upper right.)

Egalitarian Hebrew and English I

This is my best-selling ketubah text.

View as a PDF here. (If it prints too large, adjust the googledoc setting on the upper right.)

Trees of Life 3: Egalitarian II - Hebrew and English, INTERFAITH FRIENDLY

This text uses language which is celebratory and affirming while being less theological and legal. It is appropriate for secular couples, or for a non-Jewish bride or groom who is sharing and joining in Jewish life in a variety of ways, so common in our 21st Century Jewish community.
View as a PDF here. (If it prints too large, adjust the size, upper right controls on GoogleDocs.)

The ketubah is shipped flat in a portfolio which doubles as a display case at the wedding, meaning the ketubah does not need to be matted before the ceremony. In this picture, it is standing. The cover can be pulled around to the back if the ketubah is placed an an easel. After the wedding, when the ketubah is framed, the case can be used to store oversize documents.

Good People Fund logo

For many years, I was privileged to support Danny Siegel in his exceptional tsedakah work. Danny retired awhile back and, remarkably, closed Ziv, his organization. People with whom he worked were so inspired by his approach - highlighting and supporting the quietly genenrous souls who reach out and make so much difference in the world - that they reorganized into The Good People Fund.

Each month I send them a check based the number of orders I've received, which has added up to over the years to more than $10,000.00. I am very grateful for all the brides and grooms who have made this possible, and for the Judaica stores which take great care of them!

Here is the Good People Fund's mission, and why I am so happy to sponsor them:
Our Mission:

Many people work quietly and diligently, often below the radar screen and with shoe-string budgets, to better our world in untold numbers of ways. It is to these people, small entities or individuals whose efforts don’t benefit from glossy brochures or promotions, or help from adequate staff or large organizational structures, that we direct our attention. Their success is our mission — by making them and their work visible and viable to others who will provide needed funding through tzedakah that is given in a cost-effective and meaningful way. One might call those that do this work social entrepreneurs or tzadikim (the righteous ones). We choose to call them simply good people.

There are still some texts of Trees of Life 1 and Trees of Life 2 available:

In Trees of Life 1, I still have Women's Egalitarian Hebrew and English. I guess I was a little ahead of my time - but do spread the word.

In Trees of Life 2, I still have the Anniversary Text in both gold and silver.

In Trees of Life 2, I also still have the Lieberman text with abbreviated English, in both silver and gold.

And a little about me:
I have been a Judaica artist for over 35 years, when I created a ketubah for my husband David and me.

Born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and a happy camper at Herzl Camp, I attended Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. I illustrated Michael Strassfeld's classic, The Jewish Holidays, as well serving as Art Editor and illustrator for Kol Haneshamah, The Reconstructionist Prayerbook Series. I was the coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols, a reference book treasured by many Judaica artists.

In addition to creating ketubot, I am an active environmelalist - I use recycled materials as much as possible, especially when shipping orders. I am also active in Microfinance and the environment.

I have lived in Mt. Airy (a vibrant, diverse neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA) where we raised our children Zach and Nomi. I am looking forward to creating the ketubah for my son's upcoming wedding to Becca Rosen. The photograph above was taken by Becca's mother Jo Rosen, right after our children announced their engagement at our Seder last spring!