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More Jewish wear

Last updated: 2004-06-29

We've had Jewcy and Rabbi's Daughters. Now entering the market for offering Jewish flavoured t-shirts is YidGear. SomethingJewish finds out a bit more about the website that offers a range of over 20 styles including Shebrew and I'm with the Rabbi.

"It's more than just jokes about matzah," says Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik, the creator of "It's about Jewish identity."

"I want to give something back to my community," Brynjegard-Bialik says. "I am proud of being Jewish, and I want my fellow Jews to feel the same way."

His involvement with the Los Angeles Reform Jewish community started in religious school and Jewish camps, and he met his wife through the Los Angeles Bureau of Jewish Education. At UCLA he was an active member of the Jewish Student Union and started designing Ha'Am, the college's Jewish newsmagazine.

The t-shirt range is a side venture for Brynjegard-Bialik, who is also a ketubah artist and graphic designer. "Being involved in a simcha like a wedding, and helping people to celebrate such a happy time in their lives ­ that¹s really when I feel I'm doing something important," he says. He recently designed the visual identity for the Los Angeles Jewish Festival.

Part of the site is inspired by Brynjegard-Bialik's year in Israel. He and his wife lived in Jerusalem during her first year in rabbinic school, and he spent a lot of time talking with the other soon-to-be rabbis and their families.

From those conversations sprung the Professional Jews section of YidGear. The inside joke for Reform rabbis is that they have been through Reform School ­ hence the Reform School Graduate design t-shirt, which evokes memories of the HUC campus in Jerusalem. Other popular items in the section include clothes for rabbi's kids, rabbi's moms, and the rest of the rabbinic family. And, of course, something for rabbi¹s husbands as well.

"The wife of a rabbi is called a rebbetzin," he relates. "So what do you call the husband of a rabbi? Rebbetz." and Brynjegard-Bialik has made sure to include a rebbetz shirt on the site.

YidGear's main section is the biggest, featuring designs referred to as Kosher, but sometimes tasteless (among the many designs are a shirt that reads "My ancestors went to Egypt and all I got was this lousy matzah

In addition to the section for professional Jews, there¹s also a section of clothes with Hebrew words and phrases.

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