Trends in Judaica - Let’s not be too Jewish, rather let be Jew Ish

With Pesach just over two months away, I have surveyed the main Jewish Museum’s offerings. Increasingly the trend is minimalistic. In this context that means no hebrew words. A plate with perhaps just dents to indicate it is a seder plate. Or a plate with some accompanying small bowls, for the Pesach fare. But again not a hebrew word in site. Perhaps the idea is that this week it is used as a Seder plate and next week it can used to serve the cookies and nuts. Can we say multi tasking ?

This watering down of our traditions is to me a bit like assimilation of our expression of art and craft. Certainly I’m aware of broader trends of minimalism. But it is curious that curators of leading Museum stores cling to mainly this tradition and not the many others that are in vogue. Does elegant have to mean clean lines that say nothing? Is Hebrew offensive? Do we have to veer so far from our sources of joyful decoration and themes to be regarded as modern and stylish? Are stores and Museum stores really in touch with their clientele.

I believe in celebrating Judaism in fresh ways, and yes I love including Hebrew typography. To me its seems the heights of provinciality to renounce your authentic origins and slavishly adhere to bland world trends.

As expressed earlier the following are also trends in retailing that could be adopted in Judaica

  • Powerful Florals - Intensive reds oranges and purples clashing with acid lime and tempered with soft peachy coral. Both soothing and exciting.
  • Playful Chromatics - Fun filled, bright rainbow pallets of block colors, bring fresh modernity. Mixed materials are used and Mint is dominant.
  • Serene Warmth - A relaxing natural theme with touches of glamour. Sun Warmth and cool shade colors are juxtaposed in raw fabrics, rich prints and smooth pale marbles.
23rd Jan 2020 Barbara Shaw

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