They called them bazaars when I was growing up in Flatlands, Brooklyn. It was the only time I went to the Jewish Center. You could buy all kinds of tchotchkes like homemade toilet paper cozies and Chinese finger traps, toy dreidels and Hanukkah candles. I’m sure I had no idea they were holiday boutiques despite the Judaica on display. My family’s firmly held Jewish identity was entirely cultural, just like everyone else I knew. I had no idea which holidays were when.
What a difference half a century makes! Last weekend I had a sweet time shopping the holiday boutiques in all three of my Patches. Ritual objects, meaningful to me now, shared space with original art, unique handcrafts and enough jewelry for the Queen of England.
Beneficiaries of the sales are sisterhood funds or the charities and missions that the communities support. Everywhere I went, the ladies tried to shtup me with sweets. It was big fun.
The styled Saturday evening Puttin’ on the Ritz. You’ve gotta see the period costumes (in the photo gallery) and Pastor Mike Young auctioning off his beard (in the video).
Sherman Oaks ’s gift shop put its entire inventory on display, and I got a rare plate of lokshen kukel (noodle pudding) from the food bar. ’s Christmas Tree Lot was open while the fundraising sale filled the social hall to the gills. The Reverend Robert Bock told me the church had to leave 12 vendors on a waiting list.
’s show overflowed the expanded social hall into a separate building called the mercaz. Wares on show ranged from art glass, jewelry and unique clothing by artists from all over the state to specialty oils, vinegars and jams. And there was a new tchotchke lady there, Gerri Borenstein, owner of Gerri’s Tees and More, with multicolored night lights, polka dotted shopping carts and a dreidel-singing bear. That’s my kind of bazaar!