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    Emily Rosenfeld

    Artist Spotlight: Emily Rosenfeld

    Today we are highlighting one of our favorite jewelry and Judaica designers- Emily Rosenfeld! Her designs are simple, timeless and yet whimsical. She is also the sweetest and we love working with her, so we wanted to know more, and share a little more about Emily with you.

    Shop Emily's Collection here.

    Have you always been an artist? How did you get started?

    I have made jewelry for my whole adult life.  I started during a gap year in college and continued after I graduated as an English major.  Working for other designers not only taught me skills, but it showed me what a creative life looked like.  I wanted to live with that kind of freedom to be myself, create a community and working life all at once.  Three years after graduating, I started my own business, in a murphy bed closet in our tiny, perfect Oakland apartment.

    There are a lot of nature elements in your pieces. What inspires your designs?

    I draw a lot of inspiration from nature, from plants especially; my garden is another very real creative adventure.  But I also draw from textiles, both prints and embroidered designs, patterns I loved since I was young.  Because I studied literature and writing, I am also inspired by the desire to communicate, clearly.  Using words in my work has been very important.  My goal is to make meaningful pieces, whether it is through symbols or language, I want it to resonate.

    How did you get into Judaica?

    My second year in business, I started getting requests from my stores for Judaic jewelry pieces.  My line has always been very graphic, using representational, rather than abstract shapes.  My buyers saw that would lend itself easily to adding Jewish Stars and Chai's which is what I started with.  Being Jewish, they felt comfortable asking.  Those pieces sold well immediately.  Wanting to build on that success and also feeling like I had stumbled into supremely comfortable and welcoming territory, I started to explore possibilities beyond jewelry.  Mezuzot were the first Judaic pieces I designed.  I loved working in a new way, carving wax, rather than only sawing metal.  I loved the meaning and the possibilities.  The response to that first group of three Mezuzot was so strong, it inspired me to keep exploring.  Growing up culturally Jewish, but not practicing, making Judaic art has been a way to learn and explore my faith.

    Any future designs you can share with us?

    That is a tough one.  I usually sit down with my notebook, a pencil and a big eraser with little sense of what is going to happen until something takes shape, usually after a lot of erasing. I will say that I am excited about my new Line Drawn Mezuzot series, and will definitely be adding to that group, as well as to the sculptural ones.  Tzedakah feels so important, especially now, there will be new box designs soon as well. 

    Anything else you'd like to add!

    I feel so lucky to get to do this work.  To be part of people's traditions, to find a place in their homes or as part of what they wear is an honor and something for which I will always feel grateful.


    Shop Emily's collection here!

    Hamsa Hand

    Hamsa hand bracelet

    The name “hamsa” comes from the Hebrew word for the number five, “hamesh.” In Judaism five also refers to the five books of the Torah, the Hebrew bible. In Jewish culture, sometimes the hamsa it is called the Hand of Miriam, after Moses’ sister.

    Read more

    Hamsas On ModernTribe

    The hamsa is the traditional symbol for the "hand of G_d" and is said to provide protection against the "evil eye," other peoples jealousy. This image is popular among the people of North Africa and the Middle East, and is sometimes called the "hand of Miriam," referencing the sister of Moses and Aaron or the "hand of Fatima" in Arabic cultures. The Hamsa motif is very popular in Jewelry and has really gone mainstream American. Hamsa art to hang on the wall is very popular too.

    The Pomegranate Hamsa Trivet by Melanie Dankowicz

    This piece makes a great decoration for the table, or even your wall. Lazercut from stainless steel with delicate touches by hand, this trivet is mounted on acrylic feet to protect your table.

    The pomegranates are a symbol of fruitfulness. It is the perfect addition to the modern Jewish home.

    Regina Allen's Gold Filigree Hamsa Set includes a necklace that is 18k gold filled, with a hand formed clasp, amethyst stones, and glass beads. The chain is 17" and the artist can adjust it for you up to 18". The hamsa pendent is 1" long by 3/4" wide.

    The earrings have amethyst stones and glass beads as well. Earrings are 2" long from the top of the ear-wire with a 1.5" drop from the ear lobe. The charms are each 5/8" long by 3/8" wide.

    Purchase together or separate from ModernTribe.

    Our bestselling hamsa is the bendel bracelet with the hamsa charm. Bendels are the infamous "red strings" adorning the wrists of the Hollywood elite. The red string, symbolizes blood and the life force and is supposed to offer the wearer good luck. So the bendel + hamsa is double lucky.

    Also check out these funky wall hamsas from Israeli design house Adina Plastelina.

    See all hamsas on

    First ModernTribe Jewish Wedding

    ModernTribe has spawned its first marriage! Jill (Editor) and I (Jeremy, Director of Affiliate Programs) are engaged.

    After we'd dated for about two years, and several months after Jill knew we should get married, I too realized that. We'd planned a trip to Jill's alma mater, William and Mary, so that seemed like a nice occasion for the proposal.

    My alma mater, Miami University, had a tradition that if you kissed under the Upham arch at midnight, you'd get married. I wondered if William and Mary had something similar, so I asked Jill in general terms about campus traditions. She mentioned one, then said there was another but she would not tell me about it. I looked online and confirmed my suspicion: legend has it that if you kiss on the Crim Dell bridge, you'll get married.

    Jill had told me she wanted to help pick out the ring after we got engaged, so I thought a little gift would be nice. I chose ModernTribe's hamsa with two golden birds (kawaii!) to represent us. It arrived in the nick of time!

    At William and Mary, it was a nervous day (for me!) of walking around the campus. Finally, we made it to the bridge. We took pictures then kissed...and kissed...and kissed...I was mentally all set to propose, but hadn't realized how awkward kneeling would be. After yet more kissing, I thought it'd be less awkward if I took her hand as I knelt. I knelt and my little spiel was unremarkable, but the look on Jill's face was total shock. When I asked her if she'd marry me she said simply "yes" and we went to sit down and recover. She asked, shaking, if I'd known about the tradition and I told her yes. I gave her the hamsa and she loved it.

    Now we're planning the wedding for this fall. Wish us luck!