Pomegranate Guild > About the Guild
When members of the Pomegranate Guild sit down to stitch, they are making more than just table linens and wall hangings. They are reviving Jewish traditions through their work with textiles. Some create their works as heirlooms for their children; others stitch to recreate memories of ceremonial objects or perhaps of family members lost in the Holocaust. All their works are expressions of their heritage and their religious faith.
The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework was organized in 1977 by a group of professional Jewish needle artists in New York. These women shared a common interest in Jewish tradition and the desire to create new and beautiful ceremonial objects for the home and synagogue.
Because the Pomegranate is so frequently mentioned in the Bible and is reported to have 613 seeds, the number of required mitzvot (good deeds), it was chosen as a modern link to our heritage. The Guild takes its name specifically from Exodus 39, verses 24 - 25; "And they made upon the hem of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet and twined linen" which describes the garments of Aaron the High Priest. The Guild logo, designed by a founding member, is a stylized pomegranate with the stem transformed into a threaded needle.
The meetings are a rich blend of needlework, culture, tradition and religious practices as they relate to Judaic textiles. Members study the history of Judaic ritual objects in order to embellish their work with authentic symbols and motifs. Through these efforts we hope to perpetuate our Jewish heritage for generations to come, thereby fulfilling our Judaic teaching "As my father planted for me, so shall I plant for my children." (Talmud)
In the Jewish tradition an item created by an unrecognized stitcher is as esteemed as one created by a master artisan. The Guild recognizes this tradition and encourages membership, beginner and professional, women and men alike, either as a Guild chapter member or as an individual member.
All members receive the Paper Pomegranate, our quarterly national publication, an educational tool which includes needlework techniques, Jewish holiday information and projects, ceremonial symbols, historical information and inspiration for contemporary and traditional fiber art. Our goal is to heighten Judaic artistic awareness in our communities and create a visual legacy to hand to our children in order to enhance their Jewish experience.