One of the nice things about running a blog is that sometimes things come across your desk where you’re like, wow, I should pass this on to my Bubbe, my sister, my law school friend. And then you realize, oh yeah, and I can just write about it on the blog. Sweet.
I got an email this week from Stacey Abarbanel of the Jewnion Label clothing company. As in Jew + Union. That’s right – with these shirts, aprons, bags, etc, you can wear your support for workers’ rights and your Jewish heritage on your sleeve. Badum ching! Oh come on. Someone had to say it.
All of the designs have a vintage, trade union feel.
I asked Stacey where she came up with this neat idea of a union of Jewish handymen (and women). Here’s what she had to say.
The idea for Jewnion Label’s came to us while chuckling over the notion of “Jewish handymen.” As a teen growing up in Los Angeles, my husband Joshua spent summers doing maintenance in apartments for his grandfather’s property management company. In the process he gained a lot of handy skills not commonly associated with Jews! He changes the flapper balls on our toilets, installs garbage disposals, rewires lights, snakes the bathtubs … you get the picture. One afternoon we were musing with a Jewish friend (from Bloomfield Hills, actually) about these useful skills and she recounted that in her childhood home, the refrain when anything broke was “Call the guy!”.
Thus was born the mythical Union of Jewish Handymen, with the slogan “Rare are those who are able.” We see it as a point of pride for those who really are handy, and a little joke for those whose skills are, shall we say, less honed.
But, as Stacey explains, the Jewnion Label is not all fun and games. It also is a nod to the fact that “in medieval times European Jews were often denied access to trade guilds (which some say were the predecessors to modern trade unions) and land ownership. . . . [T]here’s some poetic justice in Jewnion Label “rising up” (see the logo for the International Order of Challah Makers) and celebrating our many quirks, customs, holidays, and traditions.”
Check out one of Jewnion’s Passover designs like the “Federated Gefilte Fish Grinders and Fressers Guild” or the “Allied Matzah Ball Makers League,” and become a fan of the company on Facebook so you get notified of future fabulous designs.