Decorating a Jewish Nursery
Jewish flair for your baby's room that won't cramp your style
You and your child are going to be spending a lot of time in the nursery room, so you'll probably want it to live up to your aesthetic standards. You may also want to give the room some Jewish charm without making it look like the Hebrew School classroom in the basement of a synagogue. Luckily, this isn't so hard to do. For those of you looking for the perfect way to introduce a little culture into your baby's home turf, Team Kveller has scoured the internet to find the best of the best--Jewish nursery decorations with a sense of style that the whole family can appreciate.
The hamsa is a popular image in Jewish art that resembles an eye embedded into the palm of an open hand. Said to have signified many things throughout the ages--like the hand of God or a deflector of the evil eye--the Hamsa is a bit mysterious but always lovely.
Hanging a baby-friendly hamsa in your nursery is a great way to introduce some subtle Jewish charm to the room. This pewter hamsa ($7) features a blessing for a baby girl or boy and comes with an attached ribbon for easy hanging. This bright, cheerful hamsa ($40) is from Israeli designer Orna Lalo and includes a prayer in Hebrew that reads, "Congratulations, Happiness and Good Health."
Kids are generally afraid of the dark. Nobody knows why, but rumors go back to the ancient Man of the Boogey. Light up your little one's room with these Hebrew-inspired nightlights from Traditions Jewish Gifts, featuring Lila Tov which means “good night” in Hebrew, Shalom, and colorful Hebrew letter blocks (each $42.95).
Your baby may not be able to perfectly sing the alphabet in English yet, but hey, it's never too early to start teaching them another language. You do want them to get into that good preschool, don't you? Your child will be bilingual in no time with a Hebrew Alphabet wall hanging. Designer Alef Betty (Blue Classic $24, Red Blocks $24, Blue Circle $24) makes some truly original and beautiful Hebrew alphabet posters that work individually or as a set.
For a more hands-on approach, this soft, pillowy wall hanging ($29.99) from 1888Toys.com helps teach the Aleph Bet with cute little animals that your child can take with them (and hopefully not lose). You can also replace the alphabet with the aleph-bet with these Hebrew Alphabet blocks ($36) from ModernTribe.
There are plenty of images from the Bible that have entered our everyday world. Why not use some prime real estate in your baby's nursery for a gentle nod towards some of the Torah's more exciting stories? This whale mobile ($30) from Modern Nursery is at once adorable and the perfect segue into a bedtime story about Jonah being swallowed by the whale (er, maybe hold off on that story to avoid nightmares). Another popular symbol in Jewish culture is the dove, seen in this dove mobile ($35) from Baby Earth, which played a key role in the story of Noah's Ark.
Speaking of Noah, the boat filled with pairs of critters has become a classic kid image because, let's face it, animals are cute. Grab a Noah's Ark picture frame ($20) from The Jewish Center Gift Shop.
The Tree of Life is another common image in Jewish art, meant to represent the Torah, as taken from the popular proverb, "It is a tree of life to them that hold fast to it." Give your baby's room a breath of life with this tree rug ($550) from Dwell Studio or a colorful tree of life canvas ($139) from Rosenberry Rooms. Hey, there are those cute animals again!
The only thing your kid won't want to eventually throw away to make room for posters of the future equivalent of the Jonas Brothers, is something that was made especially for them. A customized gift featuring your child's Hebrew name will always remain a special keepsake and reminder that two names are better than one.
Etsy.com shop Studio Danale makes customized Hebrew letters ($6.50/letter) that you can use to spell out your baby's Hebrew name. Each letter is hand-painted and decorated with little ornaments to your liking. ModernTribe sells stuffed animals ($49.95) that you can personalize with your child's Hebrew name. You can get the classic brown teddy bear, or go for the less popular but just as cute stuffed lamb. Just look at that punim.
A mezuzah is a small scroll inscribed with verses from the Torah that is enclosed in a decorative case. It's customary to hang a mezuzah on the doorpost of every room in a house to mark a family's commitment to creating a Jewish household.
Mezuzah cases come in all shapes and sizes, so the fun starts in finding the perfect one for you. If you're thinking about getting a mezuzah for your baby's room, check out this beauitful Three Angels Mezuzah ($98) from The Jewish Museum Shop and this selection of cute and simple wooden mezuzahs ($12) from World of Judaica. Keep in mind, mezuzah scrolls are usually sold separately, and can be found at most stores and websites that sell Judaica.
Have you found some great ways to add Jewish flair to your baby's nursery? Leave your ideas and links to your favorite products below!