For my family and many others, the 11th of April has special meaning. On this day in 1945, Buchenwald was liberated by the American Army, and my late father Naphtali, just 19 years old, was saved. Each year on this day we’d raise a glass to survival and to life.
It’s only fitting that on this day I invite my friends and community to join me in a unique opportunity to honor our history and weave our stories into a live creation of communal art.
On May 5th, observed worldwide as Yom Ha’Shoah, I’ll be participating in a truly extraordinary one-time-only ritual event at the Musuem of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park: a Sew-In. And you’re invited. No sewing experience necessary (I have literally none).
Here’s what and why:
Lab/Shul is creating a Super Size Patchwork Prayer Shawl, composed of upcycled sacred fabrics donated by our community. The one we now have fits about 20 people, and we use it often. We’d like to triple that, and have been working on this project for a few months with community volunteers, planning to unveil the new talit this May.
Then we got a call from our friends at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, who heard of the patchwork prayer shawl project and invited us to think of linking it to their new exhibit Stitching History From the Holocaust, on view through August 14, 2016. We are grateful and honored to bring this co-created work of art to this urban sanctuary of legacy and life.
So that’s why I’ll be at the Museum on May 5th, Yom Ha’Shoah, sewing, along with friends from our community, at our first ever Sew-In, co-creating one big tallit from donated prayer shawls and fabric we’ve received from across the country – AND the many more we hope to get – from you. It’s passover/spring cleaning…perfect time to go through your shelves (just today we got three more. )
The completed prayer shawl will be on exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage during July and August, and then used at all Lab/Shul ritual events. I can’t think of a better way to continue our legacy into the next generation, woven together, stitched with love.
Be part of the unique commemoration and co-creation:
- Send in an unused talit or fabric to our office by May 4th, 2016 (it’s Passover/Spring Cleaning…perfect time to go through your shelves!). Please include your name, who object belonged to, and a short note describing any significant memories or stories attached to it.
- Join us on 5/5 to donate, sew, cheer, selfie and snack.
- Volunteer to help.
- Support Lab/Shul’s (hopefully) world record breaking project.