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November 15, 2002 - Image 92

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-15

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Gift Guide

Mark The Date

Jewish calendars are functional works of art.

By Carol Sorgen

with. Jewish facts, recipes, trivia, and
illustrations; the Jumbo Jewish Calendar,
he start of the Jewish calen-
which can be used as a wall calendar or a
dar season may have come
desk blotter; the Mini Jewish Calendar,
and gone with the passing of
small enough to fit in your purse or
the High Holidays, but that
pocket; and the Repro Pack Calendar,
doesn't mean calendars don't make a
which includes two pages for every date
popular Chanukah gift. And since most
so you can tear a page off, carry it with
of the published Jewish calendars run on you, and still have a record of where
a 16-month cycle (from September
you've been and what you've been doing.
through December of the following
Not all Jewish calendars are put out by
year), nobody will miss a beat.
Jewish publishers. The Kansas City-
Shari Zingle, of Jewish.com
based book and calendar publisher,
(Jewish.com is owned by Jewish
Andrews McMeel, produces a number
Renaissance Media, the parent company
of spiritual calendars. Their Jewish title
of the Detroit Jew
. ish News.) says,
this year (although not in the
'Although they begin with this past
spiritual/religious vein) is A Little Joy A
September, they still make great gifts
Little Oy, written by radio personality
because they last through next
and "Ask Sadie" columnist Marnie
Winston-McCauley (Don't be fooled by
Some people don't even wait that
the name, says publicity director Kristine
king. KarBen, a division of Lerner
Abbott; Winston was once Weinstein!).
Publishing Group in Minneapolis,
In San Francisco, Pomegranate
reports that as soon as Passover '
Communications is one of the world's
ends, calendar
leading calendar publishers, known
especially for its art calendars. They
work closely with libraries, museums,
contemporary artists and galleries,
says publisher Katie Burke. "We don't
do puppies or kittens," she says.
Pomegranate produces a broad
range of products and subjects, says
Burke, including 170 calendars
.each year. Six of those titles are
Jewish calendars; while that num-
ber may not seem high, Jewish
publications are a strong part of
the company's sales, says Burke
(although she declined to give
actual sales figures).
"The Jewish market is a
major category for us," she
says, "and has been steadily
Burke says the company is excited
begin. Though the five about a new calendar offering this year,
calenda Ts the company produces are
The Calendar of the Jewish People, the
just a small percent of the product line,
first calendar done from a completely
they're very popular, says a KarBen
Jewish perspective. This new calendar
spokeswoman. The calendars include the presents all the days of the Jewish year
notebook-style Executive Jewish Calendar 5763, from the first of Tishrei through
(which is already sold out for this year);
the last of Elul.
My Very Own Jewish Calendar, complete




Even the internal organization of the
calendar is Hebrew-oriented. Its days are
numbered from right to left. It uses
"notched" daily blocks to illustrate the
distinction between Jewish days, meas-
ured from sunset to sunset, and secular
days, which run from midnight to mid-
- Beyond these features, the calendar
functions like any other; it includes
Jewish and secular dates, Jewish and sec-
ular holidays, lunar phases, candle light-
ing reminders, and plenty of space in
which to write appointments and notes.
Each month features a scriptural quota-
tion, a brief commentary, and artwork
by artist Mordechi Rosenstein.
Although they've sold out of the cal-
endars, Chaya Youngworth at Esther's
Judaica in West Bloomfield comments
on their purposefulness, "People like to
know the candle lighting times for the
Shabbat and the holidays. Also, if
they're having a bar or bat mitzvah they
want to know the weekly Torah por-
Pomegranate has a number of other
Jewish-related calendars for 2003,
including: All-Purpose Yiddish, a 365-day
desk calendar that offers six Yiddish defi-
nitions each week; Illuminations: Jewish

Calendars from the Bodleian Library,

available in both engagement book and
wall formats, with full-color reproduc-
tions of pages from historical illuminat-
ed Hebrew manuscripts; Synagogues
2003, drawn from the award-winning
book, And I Shall Dwell Among Them:
Historic Synagogues of the World and
Jewish Celebrations, with lively folk illus-
trations of daily and weekly rituals by
artist Malcah Zeldis.
And then there are artists who design
and produce their own calendars. Mickie
Caspi (www.caspicards.com ), for exam-
ple, an Israeli-American artist and callig-

rapher who lives in- Newton, Mass., has
specialized in Judaica since 1980. Her
designs can be found on ketubot, greet-
ing cards, Judaic art prints, and since
1999, calendars.
Caspi's calendars, which are sold in
major Jewish bookstores and galleries, as
well as on the Web, are popular, says her
husband and business partner, Eran
Caspi, because only a few of the major
Jewish holidays appear in contemporary
calendars. "The Jewish calendar lists all
of the Jewish and Israeli holidays, as well
as other information of interest to the
Jewish community, such as candlelight-
ing times.
"The most obvious difference between
our calendar (The Jewish Art Calendar),"
Eran Caspi continues, "is that it con-
tains Mickie's illuminations and art-
Calendars make popular, yet inexpen-
sive, gifts. Small desk calendars, for
example, cost just $10, while art repro-
duction wall and engagement calendars
usually cost between $13-$14. Speaking
of the selection at Jewish.com , Shari
Zingle says, "We still have lots of calen-
dars left and they're beautiful, with pho-
tos and paintings of Judaic objects and
synagogues. Some feature Jewish art
and culture."
If you don't want to spend any money
at all, you can still find a beautiful
Jewish calendar. Many organizations put
out their own as a community service
and thank-you to their customers. El Al,
for example, produces its own calendar.
The calendar has a different theme every
year, says company spokesperson Sheryl
Stein, but is always tied to Israel and its
people and lifestyle. But if you're partial
to El Al's calendars, get in line. They're
so popular, says Stein, that she's already
getting calls for next year's edition!

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