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, 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!