Thousands of pieces of Judaica, stolen from Jewish families during the Holocaust, are on sale in markets around Europe. In antique stores, flea markets and junkyards, they are waiting to be reclaimed and put back into use by Jewish families and communities all over the world.
Imagine: A family using Shabbat candlesticks recovered from the flea market in Latvia.
Imagine: A Jewish summer camp using a Yad Torah (Pointer)reclaimed from a Budapest junk market .
Imagine: A synagogue reciting Kiddush with a cup found in a bin of junk in a Poland antique market.
Imagine: Students around Europe funded to locate and buy back Judaica, inventory the pieces, and prepare them for distribution.
Imagine that you are a part of this amazing project!
How it Began!
Bring it Home began as a simple trip to explore the famous Budapest flea market, Ecseri. In 2007 while visiting the market, I noticed a substantial number of pieces of Judaica on the vendors' tables. There were Kiddush cups, Hanukkah menorahs, Shabbat candleholders, Torah yad/pointers, Tzedaka boxes, and much more. There were hundreds of pieces! Every time I would inquire about a piece one the dealer would bring out more and more to show me from under his table.
As I walked around, I grew overwhelmed by the large number of pieces and the question of how they had come to be in the dealers’ hands.Where did they come from? There could be no answer other than that they had been taken during the war as Jews were forced from their homes during the Holocaust. Eventually, these pieces of Judaica had ended up on these dealers’ tables. At that moment, I felt that they did not belong in the hands of the dealers, but in the hands of the Jewish Community. I felt like I needed to Bring It Home, to bring the lost Judaica back into the Jewish community to be used as it was originally intended.
I decided to create Bring It Home to fund local community members to go into the markets and buy the Judaica, inventory the pieces, and then send them out to the community with the explicit stipulation that the pieces will actually be used - not to be archived or to be displayed in a museum - but to be used as they were intended.
The project is also about keeping the stories of the Jewish communities lost during the Holocaust alive through the artifacts. Each piece will be accompanied by an educational component to connect the recipient (Synagogues, summer camps, Campus Hillels, new immigrants, families still living in the local community) to it’s history, and with information on different traditions, prayers and uses for the Judaica.
Where will the funding go to?
The funds raised will be for start up costs for the project, essentially to get the project off the ground, specifically:
- Professional design for the project; logo, website, full branding of the concept
- Development of portfolio materials to be used in promoting the project for major funding.
- Establishing a headquarters in Israel
- A pilot buying trip to Budapest and Warsaw
Other Ways You Can Help
While your contribution is extremely important, contributing is much more than $, it’s also your energy and your ideas.
- Design a web site?
- Edit my pour spelling?
- Create a logo?
- Process an application for nonprofit status in Israel?
- Help start finding markets and pieces throughout Europe?
If you want to help, contact us. We are always looking for volunteers with great energy and ideas.