Recent Blog Articles

Jews Commemorating Juneteenth With Kaddish & A Seder

Posted by Custom & Craft

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Though the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in 1863, people remained enslaved in Texas, unaware the Civil War had ended. It wasn't until June 19, 1865, that every enslaved person in the United States was released, creating the holiday of Juneteenth. 

 

To mark the occassion, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice created a Juneteenth Seder Haggadah, filled with wisdom from Jewish and African-American sources.

 

As more communities mark Juneteenth as a day of remembrance and reflection, Jews of all backgrounds are invited this Shabbat to recite a Kaddish for Black Lives, written by our partners at the Jewish Multiracial Network.

 

You may want to read it along with the traditional Kaddish or after lighting Shabbat candles. May the memories of those lost to racism and hatred be for a blessing and a revolution.

Celebrate Pride with Custom & Craft

Posted by Custom & Craft

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Happy Pride!  With roots in fighting oppression, Pride celebrates and affirms LGBTQ people and works toward increased visibility, justice and equality. Custom and Craft is proud to share these resources from our partners.

 

Keshet is celebrating LGBTQ Jewish heroes who transform the world through their words and lives. Join the celebration with @KeshetGLBTJews. Learn about Rabbi Sandra Lawson, one of the first queer women rabbis of color, Harvey Milk and more amazing heroes.  Visit their site to learn more! 

 

Bring Pride to your Shabbat table with this booklet from our partners at OneTable and JQ International. Celebrate the resilience of the queer community to laugh and find joy in spite of fear and oppression. 

 

 

Easy Shabbat Guide

Posted by Custom & Craft

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Shabbat. Somehow our ancestors knew, without a scientific study or thousands of retweets, that we humans are hard-wired to need a break.  That’s why the word Shabbat has the same Hebrew root as the word to sit, l’shevet. The ancient rituals of Shabbat gently nudge us to separate from the weekday grind and instead to unplug, notice, reflect and relax.

Download this simple and easy Shabbat guide to light, toast, wash, break bread, reflect and bless this Friday night.

 

Explore a Summer of Blessing

Posted by Custom & Craft

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Summer is full of Jewish life! We put together a guide to bridge you from Shavuot until the fall, with activities for both grown-ups and kids. Find inspiration, discover the wisdom of our sage ancestors or dig up a season of blessings. 

Check it out here: https://customandcraft.org/service/summer-wisdom-blessings

Stay Up All Night for Shavuot

Posted by Custom & Craft

At first glance, an agricultural festival marking the grain harvest may not have much to do with the experience of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. But our ancestors’ spiritual lives were deeply connected to the rhythms of the natural world and it made sense to weave together a time of pilgrimage to Jerusalem with this critical moment.

Fast-forward to 16th Century Tzfat in northern Israel where Rabbi Issac Luria and his band of mystics created Tikkun L’eil Shavuot, a ritual of staying up all night to study Torah. They believed that at midnight, the heavens would open to favorably receive their prayers. 

 

You can join a Tikkun hosted by one of the Jewish communities listed below or create your own late-night study and reflection session. Just click on the event name to connect and register.

 
Shavuot Learning with Ammud: The Jews of Color Torah Academy and the Jewish Multiracial Network 
Wednesday 5/27 at 8:30 pm Eastern
 
The World as an Opportunity to Repair hosted by Beit Tefila Israeli (all content in Hebrew)
Wednesday 5/27 at 21:00 Israel 
 
Dawn hosted by Reboot and many partners
Thursday 5/28 at 7 pm Pacific to Friday 5/29 at 6 am Pacific
 
First-Ever Movement-Wide Tikkun hosted by the Society for Humanistic Judaism 
Thursday 5/28 at 4 pm Pacific 
 
Stay the Night At-Home hosted by Marlene Myerson JCC
Thursday 5/28 at 9 pm Eastern to Friday 5/29 at 5 am Eastern
 
Miles Nadal JCC featuring Rabbi Denise Handlarski from Secular Synagogue 
Thursday 5/28 at 7 pm Eastern to Friday 5/29 at 1 am Eastern
 
Tikkun Leil Shavuot hosted by My Jewish Learning
Thursday 5/28 at 8 pm Eastern to Friday 5/29 at 1 am Eastern
 
Shavuot: Coming Together Across the Globe hosted by Reconstructing Judaism
Thursday 5/28 at 7:30 pm Pacific to Friday 5/29 at 7:30 am Pacific
 
Reveal-A-Thon from Lab/Shul
Saturday 5/30 at 7 pm Eastern to Sunday 5/31 at 10 pm Eastern
 
Embodied Daily Omer Practice with Mitsui Collective

Posted by Custom & Craft

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Graphic inspired by Aharon Varady and and Lauren Deutsch on Open Siddur Project, inspired in turn by the teachings of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

As many of us have already been counting the days since the world entered this period of isolation, distancing, anxiety, and stress on the one hand … and self-sacrifice, community-care, and virtual connection on the other. Yoshi Silverstein, Founder and Executive Director of the Mitsui Collective, has created a daily wellness practice for counting the Omer, which he describes below...

 

The Omer — the 7 week / 49 day period from Passover to Shavuot — lends itself beautifully to numerous layers of interpretation and practice. This year in particular, as we cope and manage with the COVID-19 pandemic as best we can, it’s more critical than ever that we each do what we can to develop and/or maintain a wellness practice.

 

It’s the strange irony of this time that some folks are dealing with hours upon hours of unstructured time to fill while others are so busy working full time either from home or on the frontlines of healthcare and other essential services, while also caring for children and other family members whose normal school and care services are shut down, that it feels like there’s barely time to breathe.

 

That’s why we’ve started a daily seven minute wellness practice based on the Counting of the Omer. In this incredibly challenging time, we need opportunities for introspection and intentional focus on caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment, however brief.

 

Seven minutes is all we ask. Most of us can find seven minutes within even the busiest of days. 

 

We’re take inspiration from the mystical framework of the Sefirot (divine qualities) the Kabbalists layered upon the Omer to help organize our wellness practice. We hope you’ll try these practices on.  And for those with ample time, certainly feel free to use the seven minutes expansively — it isn’t meant as a limit, but as a bite-size starting point.

 

And for those for whom seven minutes is a stretch, we hope you’ll give this gift to yourself, and that these practices will serve to help you find more groundedness, comfort, joy, and nourishment to help sustain you through this time.

 

To join the practice, follow Mitsui Collective on Instagram and see the links below for an archive of each day. Jump in at any time! 

What is Cultural Judaism? Webinar with Rabbi Denise Handlarski

Posted by Custom & Craft

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More tools, fewer rules. More joy, less oy!   This month, Custom and Craft hosted a webinar with Rabbi Denise Handlarski from Secular Synagogue about Cultural Judaism and making it relevant to our daily lives.  Whether you're Jewish, Jew-ish, intermarried, Jew-curious, non-practicing or disengaged - this introduction to Cultural Judaism is for you! 
 
In case you missed it, watch the recording here and click here to follow along with the slides. 
 
If you're craving more connection, find Rabbi Denise at www.secularsynagogue.com.
Sign Up for Brand Camp 2019!

Posted by Custom & Craft

Hey, Jewish Nonprofits! Do your brand materials need a refresh? Are you still struggling to communicate effectively on social media?

Join us for Brand Camp, a 7-session remote-learning course to help you strengthen your organization's online presence. The program includes four group webinars and three individualized coaching sessions designed to tune-up your brand & social media strategy for the coming Jewish year.

Now in its fourth year, our brand camp curriculum has been developed and tested with over 30 participating organizations. This year, we’re excited to bring the program online to reach you wherever you are. With a combination of webinars, group feedback, and one-on-one coaching calls, you’ll have all the tools you need for your High Holiday campaigns and beyond.

Fees: $525 per organization. $25 discount for all registrations completed by Friday, July 5.

Questions? Email eileen@customandcraft.org

 

SCHEDULE

WEEK 1
Webinar: Refining Your Brand

July 17, 11am PDT / 2pm EDT*

What are the "rules" for making great brand materials? How do you effectively share your voice and identity through your logo, design and website? And who is doing it well in the Jewish community? We'll take a look at the building blocks for effective branding and experiment with new approaches for building our professional brands.

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WEEK 2
Individual coaching sessions
July 22-26

Assignment: Brand assessment & mood board

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WEEK 3
Webinar: Creating Your Editorial Calendar
July 31, 11am PDT / 2pm EDT

A great editorial calendar begins with an intention to start conversations with a clearly-defined audience. We’ll review best practices for posting on social media, becoming a thought leader, and engaging with your community. Then we’ll put our skills to work in drafting an editorial calendar for the High Holidays or an upcoming campaign of your choice.

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WEEK 4
Individual coaching sessions
August 5-9

Assignment: Campaign editorial calendar

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WEEK 5
Designing Image Posts for Social Media
Aug 15

What makes a great photo? Where do you look for photos when you don’t have the right one? How can you edit and improve a less-than-perfect image? We’ll look at examples of social brands using photography in innovative ways. We’ll also play with some photo editing tools, as well as Canva, a free online tool for combining text, images, and other design elements.

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WEEK 6
Individual coaching sessions
August 19-23

Assignment: Suite of social media posts

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WEEK 7
Working with Videos & Analytics

Aug 28

Videos can be a compelling addition to any campaign, but how can you make yours stand out without spending a lot of money? In our final session, we’ll discuss DIY formats for simple online videos that you can start producing with your smartphone. We’ll also wrap up our work together by introducing some tools for analytics and evaluation.

Assignment: Launch your campaign!

 

* Participants may join live webinars, or catch up on recordings at their own pace. All webinars last for one hour. All coaching sessions last 50 minutes, and may be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm EDT.

 

Hey LA! Let's Get Creative Together!

Posted by Custom & Craft

Custom & Craft is pleased to request proposals for its Studio Program generously supported by a Cutting Edge Grant of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. The program is designed to help local Jewish content creators maximize their brand presence online through subsidized social media training and video production.  

What is a “content creator”? Anyone with a vision for sharing knowledge, skills, entertainment, or thought leadership in short online formats. It can be a food blogger who shares recipes & cooking demos, a DIY pro teaching new craft ideas, an environmentalist with eco-friendly tips, a Jewish educator explaining holidays, a storyteller, a rabbi, an activist, a musician, etc.

Jewish individuals and organizations in Greater Los Angeles are eligible to apply. Applicants will be chosen based on their concept for an online video series, both in its creativity and feasibility. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION & FULL APPLICATION

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Questions? Email Eileen Levinson, eileen@customandcraft.org

We're Hiring a Video Producer!

Posted by Custom & Craft

Custom and Craft is seeking a Video Producer to join our Los Angeles Studio. The ideal candidate is a highly creative, organized individual with a record of success in producing quality, short-form videos for the web and social media platforms.

Responsibilities:

- Conceptualizing and developing new video formats for our clients and partners
- Shooting and editing whenever possible, hiring additional freelancers as needed
- Coordinating edit plans, and client approvals
- Maintaining an editorial calendar, assisting partners in timely rollout of content

Required skills:

- Strong communication skills
- Expertise in social media
- Familiarity with Jewish culture and tradition
- 2+ years of experience in video production
- Ability to independently manage multiple project timelines

The position is for 20 - 25 hours per week, starting immediately, with the possibility of full-time employment in the future. Interested applicants should send a resume and work samples to – Eileen@customandcraft.org

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD JOB DESCRIPTION