In Jennie Rivlin Roberts’s closet sits an ugly brass menorah with a Maccabee motif and a tarnished set of silver Shabbat candlesticks she keeps meaning to polish. “These ritual items were handed down to me by my parents, and though they are sentimental, they don’t fit my personal style,” she explains. Her home has modern, clean lines with an open floorplan and lofty ceilings, a design aesthetic growing ever more popular, especially among younger, urban dwellers.
Although Rivlin Roberts’s discontent with Judaica design is longstanding, Hanukkah gave her the final push to start the new online Judaica storehttp://www.ModernTribe.com. Each year she’d go to the local Judaica shop hoping to find cool party decorations for her annual Hanukkah celebration. After wading through a sea of blue and gold paper goods and dolls singing in Yiddish, she’d come home disappointed with the lack of choices for her favorite holiday. “We love Hanukkah because burning the candles in the window means more than just taking pride in our Judaism—it is symbolic of our freedom. So shouldn’t we also be free from schlocky design?”
ModernTribe.com offers alternatives to traditional Judaica with fresh, modern designs. The site features Judaica, housewares, jewelry, and personal accessories from young Israeli designers such as Shlomi Schillinger, Tamar Moshkovitz (go-tam.com), and Idan Shani who collaborated to create the modern plush dolls Plushoods (plush-hoods) and Svivos (svee-vos) collectible graphic dreidels. “Shlomi’s Cube Menorah and Cube Candlesticks are more than ritual items; they are reconfigurable sculptures I can display and enjoy all year round,” says Rivlin Roberts. ModernTribe.com also features a state of the art gift registry to serve those wanting to register for special events such as weddings, commitment ceremonies, and bar and bat mitzvahs.
“My husband and I invented No Limit Texas Dreidel (a dreidel game based on Texas Hold’em poker) out of a need for something new, fun, and hip for Hanukkah. ModernTribe.com is an extension of that idea, providing Judaica that is appealing to our generation,” Rivlin Roberts says.
ModernTribe.com offers design-conscious Jews gifts and Judaica that celebrate age-old traditions with modern style. From mezuzahs to menorahs, Rivlin Roberts found products made in Israel, Europe, and America with a modern design aesthetic. After you see the unique, clever, and beautiful pieces at http://www.ModernTribe.com , Rivlin Roberts is hoping you will never again keep your Judaism in the closet.