It didn’t take long for me to notice that this summer’s fad was Silly Bandz, the colorful rubber bands in various shapes worn on kids’ wrists. Wherever I went, I saw campers and counselors at Camp Maas, Tamarack Camps‘ residential Jewish camp where I work as the agency’s rabbi, trading all sorts of rubber shapes, but sadly I didn’t see anything with a Jewish theme in the collections.
So I went to the Web to try to find the Jewish version of Silly Bandz and landed on Rabbi Moshe Rabin’s site, JewlyBandz.com. A Chabad rabbi in Florida who runs a girls’ seminary, Rabin tapped into the latest fad quickly. He’s not the only one who has created a Jewish version of Silly Bandz, but I like his educational approach to the product. I called Rabbi Rabin to let him know that I was glad he was using Silly Bandz for Jewish education. After speaking for a while, we realized that we each had many connections to Jewish youth who would enjoy adding Jewish Silly Bandz to their collection, but these connections didn’t overlap. I work predominantly with Jewish youth in the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist branches of Judaism, while Rabin is an Orthodox Jewish educator and Chabad Lubavitch emissary.
Jewly Bandz has produced a symbolic selection of Jewish Silly Bandz in the thematic shapes of the Jewish holidays with each holiday represented in elastic shapes kids everywhere will wear with pride and look forward to sharing and trading with their friends. Rabbi Rabin told me, “When I saw children so excited to collect the latest bands, I knew there was an opportunity here to teach Torah in a fun way.”
Judaism in the 21st century needs to keep pace with the current trends. If kids are crazy about collecting Silly Bandz bracelets, I want to see a shofar bracelet on every Jewish child’s wrist in the month before Rosh Hashanah.
Many organizations, like synagogues and temples, Jewish camps, JCCs, Federations, and Chabad Houses, are using Jewly Bandz for fundraising too. There is free shipping for Jewly Bandz orders over $25 and if you enter my special code (“Rabbi Jason”) you will receive 20% off if the order is placed on the Jewly Bandz website before August 31.
Monies raised selling Jewly Bandz™ will be used to fund educational scholarships for Jewish children. To purchase JewlyBandz, visit www.jewlybandz.com.