web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



All Dolled Up For The Holidays

“My mother always made the Jewish holidays lots of fun when we were growing up, so is it any wonder I started my own Judaica business?”


 


My daughter is looking directly into the television camera as she says these words and I’m kvelling.  You plant seeds and then you wait for moments like this.  


 


An acquaintance of hers at the Jewish Television Channel (JTC) was planning a program on Passover and contacted my daughter, the owner of a youth-oriented online Judaica store, for innovative ideas.  When she began to reminisce about the Ken and Barbie Seders at her house, the producer was smitten.  Tell me more. 


 


And so yom tov came even earlier this year.  It may have been mid-February, but my dining room table was already set for Passover, complete with Seder plate, matzah holder, Kiddush cup and Barbie dolls.  Sometimes a doll is just a doll, but when Passover rolled around at our house Ken and Barbie were honored guests, not just “at” but also “on” our Seder table.  A short explanation. 

 

 

 


Ken Doll in the role as Moses on Seder Table display

 


Growing up the child of immigrants, without even a television set in our modest Brooklyn apartment, I eagerly anticipated the Passover Seder.  When my mother replaced our simple everyday dishes with pearly white plates trimmed in gold, it was the signal that we were in store for a special night of delicious holiday foods and a blockbuster story of heroic proportions. 


 


That was the ’50s.   But it was obvious that the next generation, our children, who had been weaned on Star Trek and Indiana Jones, needed more to engage their interest for the long evening ahead.  My background in design and marketing convinced me that the medium is the message and so I set out to add punch to the epic with visual representations of the starring cast.  After all, who doesn’t love action figures?  When I resurrected my daughter’s extensive Barbie and Ken collection I was ecstatic to discover a Ken figure with a flowing mane, a la Charlton Heston.  Perfect!

 

 


Barbie Doll in the role as Miriam with her tambourine on the Seder Table

 


Off came the glitzy, immodest costumes to be replaced by attire more appropriate for a sojourn in the desert, with no sewing involved.  I merely cut a hole in a big square piece of fabric, slipped it over Ken’s head, tied it with a sash and voila, Moses was ready to confront Pharaoh and his minions. 


 


Barbie’s transformation into a Jewish maidel involved a little more ingenuity.  With a bit of lace tied around her hair and a long tunic draped over her shoulders, Bridal Barbie morphed into the prophetess, Miriam, playing her tambourine.  Additional dolls provided the supporting cast, Aaron and Tziporah.  A Styrofoam platform covered in faux grass and desert friendly foliage, with a few plastic frogs and diseased cattle, completed the scenario.


 


“This is our Victorian dollhouse,” my daughter continues, as the camera follows her to a corner of the dining room.   After two hours of filming she has become a pro.  “My mother changes the decorations for every holiday.” 


 


Like my dining room table, the dollhouse has also become “Pesachdik” with miniature matzos replacing the latkes and doughnuts that graced the Chanukah setting.  In between holidays, the dollhouse is decorated for Shabbos with traditional challah and gefilte fish. 

 

 


Passover Dollhouse

 


I first began furnishing the dollhouse over 20 years ago as a result of visit to Princeton, New Jersey, during the December holiday season.  Our children were enchanted by the town that resembled a Victorian postcard, so I adapted the idea for a Victorian Chanukah, foraging for items wherever I traveled.  A small town in Massachusetts provided one of my most treasured finds, a miniature copy of The Jewish Press.


 


Today a new generation has arisen who delights in the Seder at Bubby’s house so that when Ken and Barbie make their annual appearance at our table this year they will be greeted by my little granddaughter.  And just like Afikoman and matzah ball soup, another tradition will be passed on from generation to generation.


 

 

Helen Zegerman Schwimmer is the author of Like The Stars of the Heavens. To contact Helen, visit Helenschwimmer.com. To view the online Judaica store, visit popjudaica.com.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “All Dolled Up For The Holidays”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

More Articles from Helen Zegerman Schwimmer
Ahuvah Gray

“When you are inexperienced and new to Yiddishkeit you figure, what do I have to lose? I think it’s called chutzpah!” With the honesty and good natured candor that have made her a much sought after lecturer across the Jewish spectrum, African-American convert Ahuvah Gray, recounts the remarkable story of her personal encounter with Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, z”tl.

Schwimmer-100512-Ocean-Pkwy

Picture it, a busy Sunday afternoon with traffic moving briskly along Ocean Parkway, a major Brooklyn thoroughfare linking the brownstones of Park Slope in the north with the beaches and amusement parks of Coney Island in the south. Suddenly everything comes to a halt.

As the members of the I.D.F. lined up for the daily flag raising ceremony held on the Tel Hashomer Army Base outside of Tel Aviv, Gloria Schreiber approached the flagpole with a mixture of pride and awe. Standing at attention, dressed in fatigues, she grasped the rope, pulled gently and watched the white and blue flag slowly ascend.

Levana Kirschenbaum, restaurateur, master chef, cooking teacher and author, has just published the ultimate cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple. This is her magnum opus, a book that takes kosher cooking to a whole new level; with everything we ever needed to know about preparing healthy cuisine from soup to nuts.

“What’s new?”

It was a casual question, posed to me by Irene Klass when we met at a Jewish women’s lecture during the fall of 1994.

When seven year-old Ariel tearfully ran into the kitchen complaining of pain it was his younger brother Shalom who came to the rescue. “Should I get you something to learn so you will feel better?” asked the six year old?

The idyllic countryside of Sobibor bears no resemblance to the large, efficient extermination camp once located in that remote corner of eastern Poland. Among the 250,000 Jews murdered during its 18 months of operation were the members of my mother’s family. I didn’t learn the details of their deaths until I was an adult, but I understood at a very young age that I had no grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins because someone called Hitler had killed them.

It’s a story that’s familiar to every student of American history. In 1620, the Pilgrims fled England aboard the Mayflower and founded the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, where they could freely practice their religion. A little known, but equally significant, historical event took place just a few years later in 1658, when another group seeking a haven from religious persecution sailed into Newport Harbor in Rhode Island and founded Congregation Jeshuat Israel.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/all-dolled-up-for-the-holidays/2009/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: