The Tallit Project

Weaving Together Generations

“I grew up with my maternal grandfather who came from a small town in Crimea in 1896. He gave me my tallis and tefillin for my Bar Mitzvah. I honor him with this program.”

In the Tallit Project, grandparents and their B-Mitzvah teen grandchild create the teen’s tallit together. 

Jews have been wearing tallitot (plural of tallit) for centuries. The tallit is a symbol of prayer, a physical representation of the commandments and our relationship with God (see Numbers 15:37-40).

Jewish teens often receive a tallit upon the occasion of their becoming B-Mitzvah, marking their transition from child to emerging adult. Sometimes they make a tallit themselves. When a person wraps themselves in a tallit, it can be a tangible way to connect both to the Jewish people’s past as well as to the Jewish future represented by the B-Mitzvah. Some people choose to wear the tallit at their wedding or use it as the chuppah (wedding canopy).

What is The Tallit Project: Weaving Together Generations?

The Jewish Grandparents Network recognizes the opportunity embedded
in B-Mitzvah for grandparents and their grandchildren to connect through the creation or purchase of a tallit. The Tallit Project offers meaningful and fulfilling activities that focus on the tallit as an integral part of the coming-of-age experience. It includes written and video resources for grandparents and grandchildren; it can also be used by spiritual and ritual leaders as a guide to developing intergenerational programs on tallit making in synagogues, organizations, B-Mitzvah programs, and individual B-Mitzvah preparation.

The Tallit Project guides you through:

  1. The meaning and significance of the tallit in Jewish tradition.
  2. How to create, adapt, or choose a tallit with your grandchild that
    represents their interests, values, and aesthetic taste.
  3. The tallit’s place in family stories and objects.

The goals of the Tallit Project are that grandparents and

grandchildren will:

  1. Find personal meaning in Jewish celebration and ritual.
  2. Strengthen their relationship and the bonds within their family.
  3. Create, or adapt, a family heirloom full of meaning and memories,
    or develop another form of creative expression.
  4. Enrich the B-Mitzvah experience for all family members.

What story does this tallit tell?

This video provides ideas and examples on how the tallit can represent this significant event in the life of your family and who your grandchild is at this moment.