Monday, February 8, 2010

Look For the Jewnion Label: United Hamantaschen Makers and Fressers Clothing Line Arrives Just In Time For Purim

A new line of clothing with funny mythical union logos is making an appearance just in time for Purim, which this year falls on Sunday, February 28.

Stacey and Joshua Abarbanel have designed a series of "Jewnion" labels imprinted on T-shirts, tote bags, and other apparel, including United Hamantaschen Makers and Fressers, International Order of Challah Makers, Union of Jewish Handymen (and Handywomen), and Benevolent Brotherhood of the B'rit Milah.

The actual origins of the union label began with the guilds of the middle ages, which were the ancestors of modern-day unions. Some time in the 15th century, the goldsmith guilds in England conceived the idea of a stamped-in hallmark on the articles of gold and silver.  This mark meant purity, quality and fine workmanship by responsible craftsmen.

Historically, European Jews were often denied access to the trade guilds and associations and land ownership.  These new mythical "Jewnions" would not exist without Jewish members.

The idea for the product line started with the Handymen idea.  Joshua Abarbanel grew up working summers doing maintenance for his grandfather's property management company, and in the process gained a lot of "handy" skills and found himself in rare company.  In many Jewish houses changing a light bulb is the extent of our handiness and for anything else the next step is "Call the handyman!"

Thus was born the mythical Union of Jewish Handymen, with the refrains "rare are those who are able" and "Repairing the world one lightbulb at a time."  It's a point of pride for those who really are handy, and a funny joke for those who aren't. The other lines grew from there, and there are more in the works.

We don't know if these "Jewnions" have the clout to get Congress to agree to special deals with regard to exemptions from taxes on health care as other unions have done recently, but considering the extreme value of hamantaschen and challah to the American economy, we suspect that they will be successful.

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