The Gary Rosenthal Collection is pleased to be an active part of the community. Through this blog we hope to share our current activities as well as provide a place for feedback from those we have been involved with in the past. Add your email to our mailing list for updates on upcoming projects and special deals:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Every year at the GRC we have a great holiday party, celebrating Hanukkah for those of us who are Jewish and Christmas for those of us who are not.  Gary makes latkes, gifts are exchanged via secret santa, and lots and lots of food is consumed.  It's always a fun time at the end of the year.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pearl Grant Richmans 50th Anniversary Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Charity Event

It's great to be able to use our work to do good in multiple ways - here's a photo of Nancy Richman with her daughter who is a Lymphoma survivor.  They recently auctioned off a number of items, including a GRC menorah we donated, raising $2500 for the cause!

A Custom Tzedakah Box for Jewish Center of Princeton

Gary recently held a Hiddur Mitzvah event at the Jewish Center of Princeton.  In addition to the event, Gary presented to the center a tzedakah box that was commissioned to kick off the center's 60th anniversary.  A nice article about the event can be read here in the New Jersey Jewish News.

After presenting the box it was brought back to the studio along with glass sheets that the Hiddur Mitzvah participants worked together to make.  These were fired in the kilns and incorporated into the box.  This piece is designed in a way that it incorporates six separate boxes into one - each having a glass plaque showing what the money collected in that box will be used for.  It's a unique design and turned out rather spectacularly as shown by the photos below:


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Shipping Deal

Here's a great deal for our stores who have some last minute Hanukkah orders - Free standard shipping on any order over $200 all this week!  The free drop ship offer may be over, but we hope as many people like this special as much as they liked the last one.  We've been working hard to keep the shelves full at this time of year and we still have work ready to ship out at a moment's notice!  It's not too late to get your orders in so you can have your shelves stocked for all those people who are putting their gift buying off until the last minute of the eighth night.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Brandeis Women 2009

A little over a year ago we had a group here as a fundraiser for Brandeis Women.  They had so much fun that they came back! Paying their group a fee to participate, Gary matched that donation in the form of a discount as the women bought sculpture and created custom glass.  If your organization would be interested in a similar event please don't hesitate to contact us!

More pictures can be seen at  www.facebook.com/garyrosenthalcollection.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FREE Drop Shipping!

Just a note to any of our accounts who have not gotten the email - right now we are waiving the extra drop ship fee for anywhere in the United States through Hanukkah.  We're hoping you will be able to take advantage of this offer and it helps you create even more sales!  We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Art With A Heart - Hiddur Mitzvah Artcle

A very nice article about the Hiddur Mitzvah Project from BabagaNewz.com:

Art with a Heart

In a synagogue in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 30 tables are set for Shabbat dinner. Although the meal is simple–a few ounces of chicken, a spoonful of rice, and a leafy vegetable–the promise of free food attracts hundreds of hungry people, including some who are not Jewish. Jerry Tanenbaum, a Jewish communal leader visiting from the United States, has just sat down to eat when he notices something odd: instead of eating, the congregants who prepared and served the meal are milling around, near the back wall.

“Won’t you join us?” he asks with a smile. But the volunteers shake their heads and look away. Surprised, Tanenbaum eyes them more carefully. “They’re too embarrassed to accept a handout,” he suddenly realizes. With 50 percent of the population living below the poverty level and with widespread food shortages, Argentina suffers from a prolonged economic crisis. Unfortunately, the Jewish community has been especially hard hit.

Several weeks before Jerry Tanenbaum enjoyed his Shabbat dinner in Argentina last year, 200 families had crowded around tables in the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their weekday meeting, however, was strikingly different from the Shabbat gathering in Buenos Aires. In Minneapolis, dozens of multicolored bits of glass sparkled in the middle of each linen tablecloth; in Buenos Aires, a slice of white meat, brown rice, and a green vegetable lay in the middle of each plate. In Minneapolis, children, parents, and grandparents happily glued their favorite colored glass into small mosaics; in Buenos Aires, children and senior citizens hungrily spooned the last bite of rice into their mouths.

With the exception of Jewish professionals like Jerry Tanenbaum, most American Jews live in ignorance of the calamity that threatens the Jewish community in Argentina. But renowned artist Gary Rosenthal is determined to change that. To aid Argentinean Jews (and other endangered Jewish communities around the world), he developed the Hiddur Mitzvah Project. (Hiddur mitzvah refers to the commandment that encourages Jews to enrich their celebrations by using beautiful ritual items.)

“Our goal is to use art as a catalyst for community service, learning, and spirituality,” says Rosenthal. “I invite Jewish kids and their families to participate in this mitzvah by joining the Hiddur Mitzvah project.”

Rosenthal provides 250 Shabbat dinners once a month for the Jewish community in Argentina, using some of the money raised through the Hiddur Mitzvah Project. Schools that participate purchase mosaic kits from Rosenthal, which contain colorful glass that students and their families glue on a template of a Kiddush cup, dreidel, mezuzah, or Shabbat candleholder. It’s common for students to make two items, Rosenthal says; one to send abroad to strengthen ties with an at-risk Jewish community and one for themselves.

Sally Abrams, a fifth-grader at the Talmud Torah, chose to make Shabbat candleholders. “It was more fun and more cool,” she says, “because you really got to design your own thing.”

When the activity ends, the principal sends the mosaics back to Rosenthal’s studio, where they are fused in kilns and attached to the appropriate ritual item. Finished products are returned to students or shipped directly to Jewish communities overseas to enjoy.

Students at the Minneapolis Talmud Torah “reached out a hand of hope from one continent to another,” says Tanenbaum, who delivered the Talmud Torah’s candlesticks to the Jews in Buenos Aires while on a mission for the World Union of Progressive Judaism.

The Hiddur Mitzvah Project testifies to the power of Gary Rosenthal’s dream. “The project in Minneapolis brought three generations together to study the mitzvah of lighting Shabbat candles,” he beams. “At the same time, it brought Shabbat peace to Jews in Buenos Aires, and allowed two communities to share the holiness of Shabbat.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Press Release

A wonderful press release describing Gary's work with autistic employees, as well as describing a number of other special projects Gary has on the table, written by Risa Borsykowsky of Jewish Gift Place has just been put up here at PR Web. It's a great piece and I suggest you check it out!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sculpture Frames

The new sculpture frame collection is here! We have 11 new frames in multiple sizes to present to you. One of my personal favorites, the WF1, is below. Click here to view the whole collection!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lighting Candles in Moscow

Anna writes to us from Hillel in Moscow, Russia:

"Hi, Gary!
It was my great pleasure to visit with students and participate in your Hiddur Mitzvah project!
Thank you one more time for having us.
Attached see our pics of having our Shabbat at the Hillel Office last Friday.
Take care,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some Visitors

Last week Gary had the opportunity to work with a group of Russian students. The group got a tour of the studio and created some mezuzot in a Hiddur Mitzvah project which will be donated to an organization back in Russia. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves as is easily evident in this photo!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Photo Frame Sculptures

A few days ago I leaked the news that we've been working on a new collection of picture frames to fill the void that our old discontinued frames have left. I can confirm now that the collection is a go and we're moving forward into final stages of development. In the meantime I'll leave you with another little teaser of one of the new photo sculptures. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more info soon!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Woman of Valor Collection on the Web

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month I'm pleased to let you know that our entire Woman of Valor Collection is now available for direct purchase from our Glass Ribbon website. As I said before, 25% of the sales of these items will be donated to Sharsheret to help those touched by breast cancer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picture Frames

A quick teaser for everyone. Throughout the years we have created a number of different picture frames. While for the most part they were well received, they have also been problematic for us, breaking during shipment more often than they should, forcing their discontinuation each time. The wheels in the minds of Gary, Alex and Greta have been turning though and it looks like some pretty cool frames, that solve the breaking problems, are going to be coming soon. I've seen a bunch of different prototypes and I have to say, they are really neat. So be on the lookout, we may just see some new GRC picture frames in the not too distant future!

New Orleans Starburst

Just a quick note here, I wanted to share a pretty neat piece of work we just recently did for the New Orleans Jewish Day School. This steel, brass, glass and screened 24kt gold wall sculpture is an impressive 3-4 foot wide version of their logo and will be used for their donor wall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Gary Rosenthal Collection has a long tradition of being involved with this worthy cause, donating money towards breast cancer awareness through our Glass Ribbon Project. We have just recently formed an official partnership with Sharsheret as the recipient of the money we raise through the sale of our Woman of Valor Collection. Below is a photo of Gary handing over his recent donation to Sharsheret's Nira Berry.

Together we're working to promote the wonderful Create for the Cure program where organizations can participate in a FREE glass making activity, creating the pink glass that is used in our Woman of Valor Collection. Don't hesitate to give us a call, 301.493.5577 if you think your organization would like to do one of these programs!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just For Fun!

Having fun at work every now and then is important, and the GRC takes that very seriously. At our September birthday party we had a pinata! Check out the facebook photo album for more great pics and even a video!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Obamenorah!

We have officially partnered with Temple Micah, and the details are ironed out for this project to make a menorah for the White House. For all the details, I am passing along the explanatory letter from Deb Srabstein of Temple Micah:

Dear Colleague,

I would like to invite you to join me in a very exciting opportunity. I am working with nationally renowned Judaica sculptor, Gary Rosenthal, to commission a unique Hannukiah to be presented to President Obama this coming Hannukah. No matter your personal or political views, I know you join me in wanting to express and to share our hope with our President. In order to create a truly special sculpture, we are extending this invitation to Jewish schools and communities across the country, in hopes that Jewish communities from all 50 states will be represented in the final piece (the “Obamenorah”). To see a picture of this very special menorah, visit this page.

To accomplish this, Gary Rosenthal will be donating his time and materials to send glass mosaic kits to schools and synagogues across the country. There will be no charge to the participating schools. As a completely free activity, you will design a small triangle of glass that represents how you light up your community with g’milut chasadim, acts of loving kindness. As part of the activity, you will also make a drawing to represent the same, and send along a one page story of how you share your light with those around you.

The glass will be fired and placed alongside other triangles to create a beautiful work of art on the menorah. The drawing and story will be placed in a book that will be presented along with the final Hannukiah.

In order to participate, here is what you need to do:

  1. Contact Gary Rosenthal at garymrosenthal@aol.com to let him know that you’d like for your community to participate no later than October 10th. Gary will then mail you the materials needed to participate in the project.
  2. Pose this question to your community: “How does our community help to bring light to the world?” While of course your answers might be abstract, we are looking for specific community-wide projects or initiatives that you feel may be inspiring to others. Please write a one paragraph answer.
  3. Honor one artist in your community to draw a picture of how your community brings light to the world. You may choose an artist old or young, famous or not yet famous.
  4. You will then create a small mosaic triangle based on the picture. The mosaic triangle will be based on the picture/tikkun olam project, but will be an abstraction of it. You may choose one color or idea that best represents the whole picture.

The glass piece, picture, and paragraph need to be received by Gary no later than November 15th, 2009. The picture and short paragraph will go into a book that explains the process that went into creating the menorah. Gary will then take each glass triangle and integrate it into the menorah. Additionally, we will create a book that accompanies the menorah with the description of each project.

Gary will also ask your help in creating smaller versions of the "Obamenorah." Each participating community will receive five glass triangles to turn into mosaics and then each one, individually, will become the front of a menorah. This limited edition item will be available for sale on a first come/first serve basis with 100% of the proceeds going to fund future Hiddur Mitzvah projects.

Thank you for joining me in this exciting project.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Please pass this letter on to other colleagues!

Kol tuv (all the best),
Deborah Ayala Srabstein

Thursday, September 24, 2009


If you haven't already, check out our Facebook page! There we have news, photo albums from around the studio, and you can keep up to date with everything going on here.

We're approaching one hundred Facebook fans now and I'd like to let you know, once we hit double zeroes, each of our fans will be receiving something special from the Gary Rosenthal Collection! I can't go into details yet, but I think you'll like it.

So if you haven't become a fan of ours over on Facebook, now is the time to do so, and tell your friends. The sooner we hit one hundred, the sooner we can send out your something special!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hiddur Mitzvah in the News

This is a little old, but it somehow slipped past my attention until now.

Via The Atlanta Jewish Times Online

11/27/2008 8:32:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article
Participants order Judaica items from the Gary Rosenthal Collection, such as a menorah, tzedakah box or dreidel. They use special Hiddur Mitzvah kits to design their own fused glass patterns.
The designs are sent to the studio, where they are fired and added to the modern metal items – each one as unique as its creator.

Congregation Beth Shalom members Rene Montaigne and Leslie Lopp design fused glass for artistic Judaica as part of the Hiddur Mitzvah Project.
COVER: Building Community Through Art

Jody Steinberg
Special to the Jewish Times

Congregation Beth Shalom members Rene Montaigne and Leslie Lopp designed fused glass for artistic Judaica as part of the Hiddur Mitzvah Project, a popular community project sponsored by the Beth Shalom Sisterhood. The glass will be fused and mounted on metal Judaica items designed by the Gary Rosenthal Collection. "My brother is very hard to buy gifts for," said Montaigne, "but he liked the Tzedakah box I made him at the last Hiddur Mitzvah project so much that I'm making one for the other brother."

The Hiddur Mitzvah project has been a popular program at Beth Shalom, because members love coming together to be creative. The items make unique gifts or become special family keepsakes, according to Andrea Rosenbloom, who organized the event with Marcia Moneit.

"The Hiddur Mitzvah Fund has worked with tens of thousands of people around the world who use art with mitzvah," explains Judaica artist Gary Rosenthal, who founded Hiddur Mitzvah. "It's a beautiful mitzvah to make Judaica - one of 613 commandments is to make beautiful ritual. People connect with each other and help other communities; the art project becomes a catalyst for mitzvot."

Rosenthal founded the Hiddur Mitzvah Foundation about eight years ago as a tool to build community around creating art and turning it into a mitzvah project. Profits from the sales of the kits fund programs around the world. For example, Rosenthal sponsored the first organized Jewish community event in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Residents came together and created over 500 donated menorahs and dreidels in what's been described as "the calm after the storm - a chance to relax among community and create something beautiful to replace so much that was lost." The program was such a success that Hiddur Mitzvah returned in the spring with donated mezuzot, and ultimately helped found the New Orleans Jewish Music Festival.

In other Hiddur Mitzvah projects, grandchildren of Holocaust survivors created two items each - one to keep, and one for Hiddur Mitzvah to deliver to survivors in diminishing Jewish communities in Poland and Russia. Hiddur Mitzvah has also sponsored Purim in Uganda and Shabbat dinner in Argentina. A group in Maryland created fused glass art to commemorate Kristallnacht.

New Challah Knives and Boards

Just because the New York show is over and the new catalog is on its way out the doors doesn't mean that we've stopped designing new work! Introducing two new challah boards and accompanying knives:

These knives will have a suggested retail of $80 and the boards, $120.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Orleans Streetcar Tzedakah Box Update

A little while about I wrote about the special NOLA Tzedakah Box commission we created. I'd like to mention that for whoever wants a spectacular Trolley Tzedakah Box that helps support a good cause, they're now available for sale! Click the image below for more details.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Email Addresses

I would just like to post a quick note to all of our stores. We at the GRC frequently send news and specials via email to our accounts - but quite a few bounce back each time! To ensure that you don't miss out on any specials just send our webmaster a quick note at hwhitney@collectgaryrosenthal.com with the name of your account and current email addresses and he will make sure your account is up to date.

For our readers who are not store owners and just fans of our work, don't forget that you can keep up with new product releases and project news by adding your email to our list by submitting it in the form at the top of this page!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Price Lists, Catalogs, and the Web

We do our best to send out our catalogs accurately reflecting our artwork, prices, and available items. Because it's impossible to make any changes to a printed piece between one catalog mailing and the next, they do get outdated as new products are made, old ones are discontinued, and prices are adjusted in one direction or the other. But never fear, the web is here! Don't forget that we have an up to date website with every current item we have available, along with their dimensions and descriptions. And when you log into the retailer's section you will have access to all current prices and even be able to place an order from right there! As always, if you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact us at 301.493.5577.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Couple of Fun Events

The past few days we've been involved in a few fun events. First we held a glass making activity at the University of Maryland Hillel Freshman Fest. As an initiative to make tzedakah part of Hillel as well as Hillel part of tzedakah, the students helped to create the glass that is now part of this special tzedakah box mounted inside their building.

A couple days later we had a great group of students from AVODAH - The Jewish Service Corps at the studio to meet and talk with Gary, see the place and participate in a Hiddur Mitzvah project.

More pictures from both events can be found here at our facebook page.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Order Form

For all of our stores, good news! Our newly updated order form is available in the retailers section of the website. This order form has been newly revised and organized, including every item we currently carry as well as their prices and sizing. If you're a retail customer, you can hop on over to thefriendsofgary.com to access a list of our suggested retail prices, then head over here to find a store in your area!

Monday, August 17, 2009

NYIGF 2009

Hello! Video games have E3, movies and graphic novels have Comic Con, and we have the New York International Gift Fair! Gary is currently in New York showing off our numerous new pieces of work, but you don't have to travel to the Big Apple to see it all! All the new items are now up for all to see right here! We have a lot of great items that I know you will like, so hop on over and get a preview of this summer's hottest GRC Judaica.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Braille Mezuzah

We may be a business, but as artists we love to give people joy through our work. This letter is a great example of that and we are very glad that this special mezuzah brought such happiness.

"Dear Mr. Rosenthal,
Sherry Davidowitz, a friend and our local JCC Judaica coordinator contacted you when I asked her about a Braille Mezuzzah. I was asked to do a blessing at the naming of a new facility for our local Association for the Blind here in northeastern Pennsylvania. The Mezuzzah you sent with the raised Shin and the word Shalom spelled out in Braille was beyond my wildest dreams. The family that donated the building is very modest about their philanthropy and had to have their arms twisted to agree to having their name on the building. They were uncomfortable about the publicity, but when they saw the Mezuzzah and heard the artist’s name they were moved to tears and knew they had made the right decision. Before the event I was a bit nervous about the Braille on the Mezuzzah. When I looked at it I checked the dots with a web page that seemed to show the letters differently than I had originally seen. But when I presented it to the president of the association, who is a blind attorney, and asked him to read the word on the Mezuzzah, he said “Shalom” loud and clear. He couldn’t quite make out the Shin on top (he’s not Jewish), but the letters were perfect.

The folks from the Association for the Blind will be contacting you separately, but I want to thank you for making this event so special and meaningful. An artisan such as yourself probably assumes that the vast majority of people who enjoy his work do so visually. But you will now have a steady flow of blind and visually impaired folks in northeastern PA that will enjoy your art every day just by touching it. Thank you for making this possible.

All the best,
Rabbi Larry Kaplan
TempleIsrael, Wilkes-Barre, PA"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Henry Winkler, BBYO, and The Gary Rosenthal Collection

This is actually old news - from 2007 - but it was just brought to my attention and I wanted to share it with you.

BBYO Honors Henry Winkler at Los Angeles Gala

"On October 11, more than 150 BBYO alumni and entertainment industry professionals joined together at BBYO's first annual Los Angeles Gala. The evening included an elegant reception and dinner before the presentation of the Inspiration Award by Garry Marshall to Henry Winkler for his dedication to the Jewish community throughout his more than 30-year career in the entertainment industry."

Here's a picture with "The Fonz" receiving a Gary Rosenthal Collection award from Happy Days creator, Garry Mashall.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camp Airy

A couple of weeks ago Gary traveled to Camp Airy for a special Hiddur Mitzvah Project. This excerpt from the camp newsletter describes this great program.

"...In addition, as part of our camp’s continuing mission to instill Jewish values into the young men and women at Camps Airy and Louise, our campers this year participated in a Mitzvah project by creating mezuzot that will be affixed to the doors of our new bunks. With the help of internationally recognized artist and sculptor Gary Rosenthal (www.collectgaryrosenthal.com), our campers fashioned the beautiful fused glass mosaics that have been transformed into dazzling mezuzot, many of which will be placed on each of our twenty new bunks.

In fact, our campers did such a nice job at making the glass that there was a lot of glass left over after the twenty new mezuzot for the bunks were made. Gary has very generously fashioned many additional pieces of Judaica for Camp Airy that gives us the opportunity to enhance the original mitzvah. These pieces include Shabbat candlesticks, Chanukah menorahs and dreidels, a unique vertical seder plate, mezuzot, and tzedukah boxes.

As you may know, many campers at Camps Airy and Louise are able to have a summer camp experience because of generous donations that are made throughout the year to our “Campership Fund”. We would like to encourage all families who have the means to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Camp Airy Campership Fund. In appreciation of your generous donation, we will be able to recognize your thoughtfulness with a one of kind piece of artwork because the glasswork was “touched by our campers”.

In addition, we would also like to invite you to dedicate one of the bunk mezuzot. A permanent commemorative plaque will be placed alongside each mezuzah in order to recognize your thoughtfulness. Again, all funds go directly into our Campership Fund.

Thank you so much in advance for participating in this worthwhile endeavor. Because of your help, another camper will be able to join the Camp Airy family and enjoy the same positive growing experience that your son has experienced over the past few weeks."

Gary talks with the campers while they put together glass mosaics

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Special Repair

We stand behind our work at the Gary Rosenthal Collection and will repair or replace any broken item. Shoshana Kroll writes to tell us how much she appreciated us repairing her special Yad.

"Dear Mr. Rosenthal:
When I became an adult Bat Mitzvah in 1995, my mother-in-law gave me a beautiful left-handed Rosenthal yad. I was in awe of the fact that, not only did I have my own yad and it was so exquisite, but that it was for a lefty!!! I used it on that special day; it gave me courage and brought me peace. I read with it every time I was blessed with a Torah reading. Then part of the glass broke off and I put it away, vowing to fix it somehow.
When I read from the Torah without my special yad, the experience did not feel as fulfilling; I was definitely missing my yad. It was such a special gift and held so much meaning for me. One day, I mentioned it to my friends, Mike and Sue Shapiro, who own Shapiro Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida and Sautee, Georgia. They offered to take care of it. They sent it back to you and you fixed it for me. This is a belated "Todah rabah." I love it; the blue piece you attached is beautiful. It feels so wonderful to have my yad with me once again as I am reading from Torah. My mother-in-law has since passed on but when my yad is with me, Jule is with me. I actually collect Judaica and have several other pieces of yours in my home. Thank you for sharing your wonderful creativity with us in such a meaningful way.....Shoshana Kroll."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jewish Gift Place Celebrates Two Years of Selling Judaica

One of our larger online stores, Jewishgiftplace.com is celebrating two years of successful business. You can read all about the site and it's founder, Risa Borsykowsky, in the following press release. We're always glad to hear that stores who sell our work are doing well!

Official press release via PR Web

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Art Tzedakah Box $1,000 Grant Awarded!

A little while ago I spoke about some new Tzedakah grants and contests that the GRC is sponsoring. I'm excited to report that we have awarded the $1,000 top grant to a worthy cause. B'nai Torah of Boca Raton's article below explains what they've been up to. Also, though the $1,000 has been awarded, we are still looking for more people to give money away to! Check out the page here for more information.


As described below, the box project that originated at B’nai Torah to raise funds to alleviate homelessness will soon be replicated nationwide at churches, synagogues, mosques and secular organizations. Under the auspices of the National Coalition for the Homeless, hundreds of thousands of families will be participating in the re‐named Bring America Home project. If you know of any corporation or foundation that might be interested in sponsoring this project, please contact Mark. Sponsoring organizations will be acknowledged on the boxes andthe box website.

From B’nai Torah to the US to Israel
When Tobi and I pack our bags this weekend for our trip to Israel, we will be including an unusual item: this take-out food box. The box is not intended to hold our dinner but rather gelt.

It is an example of the tzedakah boxes our Mirochnick Religious School and Ruth and Edward Taubman Early Childhood Center students made to look like houses. In December, the students took the boxes home and with their families deposited their loose change. At the end of the school year, students brought the boxes back for a communal contribution from B’nai Torah to Family Promise of South Palm Beach County.

Over $1,200 was raised from those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Equally important, our students and their families were actively engaged in the miztvah of helping homeless families.

Family Promise Coordinators Mike Diamant (left) and Mark Wasserman presented a check for over $1,200 to Reverend Kathleen Gannon, member of the Board of Directors of Family Promise of South Palm Beach County.Mike recently joined the Board.

To see our students and their creations, go here.

National Recognition
Our box project has gotten national attention.
• We just won the top prize of $1,000 in a tzedakah box contest sponsored by the Gary RosenthalCollection. The contest challenge was to create a box that relates to a charity that will benefit from the proceeds of the funds collected in the box. Our house box for the homeless was just what they were looking for. The Gary Rosenthal Collection is one of the most popular lines of
Judaic sculpture in the country. Work from the Gary Rosenthal Collection can be found at the B’nai Torah Sisterhood Gift Shop and at www.collectgaryrosenthal.com Per the contest, this fall we will use $500 of this award to commission a local artist to work with our students to create unique house‐like tzedakah boxes.

• The box project that started at B’nai Torah is now going to be launched nationwide this August under the auspices of the National Coalition for the Homeless. Soon any
organization -- be it a church, synagogue, mosque, school, homeless shelter or secular group -- will be able to help the homeless in their community by decorating and filling their own boxes.

• The box project was the brainchild of our Family Promise Coordinator, Mark
Wasserman, who literally was “thinking outside the box” when he came up with this idea.

Going International

In Israel, I will be talking with friends and leaders about this innovative approach that fulfills the exhortation of the Prophet Isaiah to feed the hungry and house the homeless. Maybe our innovative project will be replicated in Israel as well as across our country.

Learn More
For more information about Family Promise and the box project, contact our Family Promise Coordinator, Mark Wasserman at markwboca@gmail.com or at (561) 699‐5116.
Have a wonderful summer.
Rabbi David Steinhardt

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Very Special Trolley Car

Nearly a year in the making, The Gary Rosenthal Collection recently completed one of the most involved commissions we've had. This special Tzedakah Box is created in the likeness of New Orleans’ famous trolley cars. This piece was commissioned by a member of the New Orleans Jewish community to thank those many friends of New Orleans who have contributed their time, energy, and financial resources to rebuild the community. A total of 80 red, 80 blue, and a special large version were created. Each Tzedakah Box was signed and numbered by Gary. When all was said and done, everyone here at the GRC was involved in one way or another in this exciting project.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kristolnacht Wall, Woven Copper Sculpture, and Musical Judaica

Lots of updates for you today! first off, here is an exclusive preview of some new work that is set to hopefully go into production in the near future.

First are two brand new, experimental pieces of Judaica that incorporate music into their designs:

Next is a new series of woven copper Judaica. Following up on our extremely popular woven mezuzot, these pieces really showcase the colors of copper.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you a bold new project that Gary is spearheading. In remembrance of "The Night of Broken Glass," we hope to create a memorial wall in honor of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust. In the same way as the Hiddur Mitzvah Project, people all over the country, and perhaps the world, will design one foot square glass tiles, some with a white border and some with black. These will then be fused solid and put together into one wall, symbolically putting back together the shards of that broken time. The black represents the evil of the past and the white represents the good hope of the future. There is always some good and always some bad as the design shows. The final wall will be displayed for all to see. If you are interested in getting involved with this historic project in any way, please contact us through this blog, email, or a phone call to Gary at 301.493.5577.

Mezuzot to Jewish Cubans

A little while back I wrote about an ongoing project to provide mezuzot to every Jewish home in Cuba. Richard Popkin, head of the project, has recently written an article detailing how he got started and what has been accomplished. He mentions the important role that Gary played in supplying the mezuzot that would be given away as part of the project.

"Stanley Cohen was then instrumental in helping Karol and me to obtain many of the 64 mezuzahs we thus brought with us. Others were created for BBCJRP by artist Gary Rosenthal in a project that Karol and I got involved with two years ago for pre-Bar and Bat Mitzvah children in nearby suburban Maryland. Finally, the key piece to solving the logistical hurdles certain to face us was when a long-time Cuban friend (Alfredo) agreed to do all the driving and to help us address the many challenges with which this unique journey was sure to present us. Do not underestimate Alfredo's talents and need for such savvy in order to get successfully from one end of Cuba to the other."

Download a PDF of the full article, The Roads Less Traveled in Cuba: 2500 Kilometers, 64 Mezuzahs and 7000 Advil

Friday, May 8, 2009

In the News Again

I just came across this article in the Jewish Herald-Voice in Texas. From the article:

"On this occasion, Schepps will be presented with the State of Israel Tree of Life Award and Lt. Oren, together with Asher Yarden, consul general of Israel to the Southwest United States, will present the State of Israel Chai Award, a beautiful sculpture by renowned artist Gary Rosenthal, to the 2009 members of the State of Israel Bonds Honor Societies, who made pace-setting investments in State of Israel Bonds in 2008."

We're happy to be able to be a part in an event like this.