In the bustle of holiday shopping and catchy Christmas songs, it can be hard to get a word in about Chanukah. So here it is. Every year we spend eight glorious days and nights publicizing the miracle of the oil, oil that lasted eight days instead of one, one of the most beautiful traditions we have as Jews. This year, Judaica.com is celebrating Chanukah by honoring several of our artists who use their art to promote light and goodness through selfless acts of giving.
Gary offers a platform for people to create their own beautiful pieces of judaica in the Gary Rosenthal style. Gary established the Hiddur Mitzvah Project, empowering children and young adults to participate in successful campaigns, such as helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, bringing tzedakah boxes into day schools, creating glass dreidels for a synagogue in Ukraine, and sending handmade judaica to Jewish communities in Israel and other countries, always seeking to connect people from different parts of the world.
One World Projects offer artisans around the world a fair trade market, opportunities to sell to the American market and getting a chance improve their living conditions. I really admire this organization and what they’ve accomplished with fair trade, using recycled bicycles to create original items such as this stunning menorah, which you can get from Judaica.com.
Megemeria School of Jewelry helps Israeli-Ethiopian immigrant artists earn training and employment doing what they love – creating stunning, original pieces of jewelry. The school has provided countless talented individuals with education, opportunities, and a chance to network with others in their field. Side point, these make great Chanukah gifts, while giving support to this outstanding endeavor.
“One man’s candle is a light for many” – the Talmud, Shabbat. Safed Candles are all about illuminating the world one candle at a time. I was blessed to have spent a year studying abroad in Tzfat (another spelling of the ancient city), and while I never quite made it to the actual factory – it burned down shortly after I arrived (it was since rebuilt) – I saw these candles all over the city, in the shops and different parts of the artist colony. Everyone there is crazy about Safed Candles. Besides giving much-needed employment to local craftsmen and artists, their candles are known and celebrated worldwide, earning them a top spot in spreading light to the rest of us.