We are six months out from Zara’s bat mitzvah. We set the date years ago. We started talking about it years ago. We actually started planning it just a few months ago. But before we even selected the place, or the DJ, or the location, we started making the kippahs.
We CrazyTravelers have now had yarmulkes for the bat mitzvah made in India and Vietnam (read more about our “Wandering Jews” experiences there!). And over the summer, we plan to have kippahs made from African fabrics while we are in Zambia – at the Home for AIDS Orphans – as part of Zara’s bat mitzvah service project.
Do I need to make more? Absolutely not. At last count I think I was up to 150. But it is such a fun adventure – and a great way to stimulate the local economy – by commissioning these kippahs.
It is a real cross-cultural adventure. I have to purchase fabric at a local market. Find a local tailor. Sign-language and pantomime my needs. Show the sample kippahs I bring from home. Negotiate. Find someone who speaks some English. Stop in to check out the work. Photograph the work in progress.
These are no kippahs ordered at the touch of a button. This is the true person to person marketplace. But I like to think that the money I’ve paid goes straight to the tailor, and thus straight to a family. Maybe I’m naive, but I like to think I did away with the middle man on most of these. I’ve supported a local shopkeeper / local tailor. And I love these kippahs, even with their flaws and funky stitching and odd shapes. They are unique and they are a true piece of the world brought home to Bethesda!