Three degrees of separation

We are all familiar with the old adage of “six degrees of separation”. However, it the Jewish world it often seems like  three or even two degrees of separation is  more the norm.
Maybe fifteen years ago, my friend Doris  brought some friends to my house. They asked me to design a presentation gift for a member of their community. 
( I am not going to  tell the long and charming story of how the woman who was being honored was the daughter of the man who convinced my father to become a rabbi.)

One of the women who was part of that small group became one of my favorite clients.  Over the years I have made lots of pieces to mark special events in Rena’s large extended family.   For the past several years, each time one of Rena’s nieces or nephews become engaged I have made a challah cover and a havdalah bag for the couple. Each one is made to suit who that couple is.

My niece has been going out with a nice young man since her freshman year of college. They recently became engaged. The nice young man is one of Rena's nephews.  My favorite client will now be a beloved relative.

My nephew to be has grown up with my work. He has already requested that I replicate the atara/tallit neckband that I made for his grandfather.

I had a long talk with my niece about what she wanted in her challah cover.  She has grown up with a particularly nice one.
The text on this challah cover comes from the Shabbat morning Kiddush. I painted the text onto a beige silk shantung.  My niece mentioned that she liked neutrals and also purple.
meggie (1)
I painted the flourishes on both the center and on the orange border.meggie (6)
meggie (5)
I love the olive green Chinese brocade. My niece grew up with, and loves chairs in a similar weave. The beads add a subtle bit of light.meggie (4)
I added a binding of a striped shantung. The color was nearly right but was just slightly off.  Adding the gold embroidered satin stich diamonds makes the colors read properly.
meggie (7)

I will exhibit this challah cover this Sunday at my synagogue art show, but then I will have my new relative, Rena, come pick it up.


  1. This is Lovely Sarah. Very elegant. How special to strengthen ties with your client/friend further.


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