Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Threads of Eternity

Esther Teichtal

Chana Gamliel designs parochos that adorn shuls around the world. And those threads close the circle of her own family legacy

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

 Mishpacha image

 

We meet in her quiet office on an even quieter street. Chana Gamliel is young. Unassuming. Her face, bedecked in a saffron satin scarf, radiates a warm, optimistic energy.

I look around, expecting to be shown around a fully equipped art studio with piles of fabric and photos on the walls, but instead, Chana turns on a large computer screen “It’s all here…” she says simply and launches into what will turn out to be a two-hour tour of her breathtaking portfolio.

Designing adornments for the House of Hashem is a job Chana doesn’t take lightly. And she sees Hashem’s Hand clearly in getting to where she is today.

“My great-grandfather, Yitzchak Ben-Chaim, was a rav and a Torah scribe in the small Moroccan town of Ksar El-Kebir,” Chana tells me. “He was also a shochet, and he’d slaughter his own cattle, so he could write his sifrei stam on their hides.”

Rav Ben-Chaim’s wife passed away when his youngest son was still an infant, and the child — Chana’s grandfather — was taken to another city, where he was raised by an older brother who was a secular Jew.

Chana’s grandfather grew up in a comfortable home and became a successful fashion designer in Morocco. “When things became difficult for the Jews there, he moved to Montreal and started afresh. He built his own textile and fashion factories, and my father, too, was in the business.” Nowadays, when she channels her artistic spirit into designing beautiful Torah mantles, Chana sees it as the closing of a circle. The rerouting of her great-grandfather’s legacy to where it rightly belongs.

 

Chana’s own family, in Montreal, Canada, was at first unaffiliated. But when her mother became religiously observant, her father graciously went along with the change. “I was enrolled in an Orthodox kindergarten,” Chana explains, “where every week we had a mock Kabbalat Shabbat, lighting candles and making Kiddush. I loved it. When the year ended, my mother thought it would be such a pity for me not to enjoy the Shabbos candles anymore, and so she began lighting them herself.”

Chana attended Hebrew Academy, and then went on to attend a Bais Yaakov seminary, Be’er Miriam. Inspired by what she learned, she decided to continue her Jewish studies at the world-renowned seminary in Ofakim. Beforehand, she complied with her parents’ wishes and spent a year studying liberal arts in Marianopolis College.

When she finally got to study in the seminary of her dreams, Chana grew close to the principal, Rabbi Dr. Lionel Cohen and Rabbanit Piltz, wife of the rosh yeshivah of Tifrach. “I was thirsty for Yiddishkeit! For me, every shiur of hers was like Maamad Har Sinai.”

“That sounds like quite a transition,” I probe. Chana laughs. “Yes, it was! My art college teacher was a Buddhist… this was quite a change! But I was tremendously inspired from the start,” she says. “In my arts program, all the titled lecturers were so full of themselves. Suddenly, here I was hearing shiurim from phenomenal teachers such as Rebbetzin Heller, Rabbi Chanoch Teller, and Rebbetzin Tarshish, and their humility was such a contrast.” (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 592)

Related Stories

Riding the Roller Coaster Together

Esther Ilana Rabi

Being married to an entrepreneur can be a bumpy ride, but, if navigated with wisdom and sensitivity,...

Mic Drop

Heather Dean with Leah Gebber

On the one side were opportunities that couldn’t be duplicated: access to the biggest celebrities, p...

Growth Charts

Elisheva Appel

We set out to understand what growth and connection to Torah mean to women, and how that understandi...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
When the Fog Lifts
Rabbi Moshe Grylak In retrospect, we will understand everything
Coming Full Circle
Yonoson Rosenblum A final goodbye to my special father-in-law
Right Turns Left
Eytan Kobre Conservatives can no longer speak their minds
Searching for Olam Haba at Disney World
Rabbi Elchonon Zohn A distorted and perverted view of life and the afterlife
5 Out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Shabbos Dips
10 Questions for Eli Samuel
Rachel Bachrach “SafeTelecom really is the refuah before the makkah”
Work/Life Solutions with Fran Jakubowicz
Moe Mernick “I turn to daas Torah whenever I encounter a gray area”
A Debt of Gratitude
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman If Ina Perlmuter believed in me, others would follow
Gemara Detective
Jacob L. Freedman “Tell me a bit about the bochur behind the medication”
Tidal Waves
Riki Goldstein “Holding Back the Tide” is comforting on so many levels
Ari's Picture of Redemption
Riki Goldstein Ari Fuld’s incredible photo gives a visual to this song
Not Just for Kids Who Love Music
Riki Goldstein “Every Yiddishe kid is essentially a part of Yingerlach”
Dream Duet
Riki Goldstein “He’s been my singing idol since I was a little kid”
Nix the Nickname
Faigy Peritzman A name is so much more than a name
Do Your Homework
Sarah Chana Radcliffe What are you teaching your kids during homework time?
Day of Confinement
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz If Asarah B’Teves isn’t a day of destruction, why fast?