My Jewish Jean-E-Ology
שמי גבריאלה איירס. הפרויקט שלי מורכב מלוח מכוסה בבד ג'ינס, מעוטר בכיסים מזוגות ג'ינס שונים. הסיפור והמידע המשפחתי שלי כתוב בחוברת המונחת בארגן המכוסה בג'ינס. לצד שלי של משפחת זאידה יש היסטוריה של עבודה בתעשיית הבגדים. למעשה, שם משפחתו של זיידה, "זיידל", הוא צמצום היידיש (המילה "סייד" הגרמנית), שפירושו "משי". שם זה נגזר מעיסוק שקשור בחומרי הגלם או התוצר המוגמר של אותו תחום.
My project consists of a denim-covered board, decorated with pockets from various pairs of jeans. My family story and information is written in the booklet which is placed in the denim-covered organizer.
I decided to substitute the word “Jean” for the word “Gene” as my Zaida’s family has a history of being in the clothing industry. In fact, my Zaida’s surname, “Zaidel”, is a Yiddish diminutive of the German “Seide”, which means “Silk”. This is derived from an occupation connected to the raw materials or finished product of that trade.
I used denim, some pockets from old pairs of jeans, beads, paper, fabric paint, glue, and a shoebox to construct my project.
We not only connect our families through common values and collective memories, but literally through our DNA our genes (jeans).
My great grandfather (My Zaida’s father) Hymie arrived in South Africa, having escaped from the Holocaust. All six of his siblings perished in the Holocaust. Hymie Zaidel arrived in South Africa with just five pounds in his pocket. Although he was never a wealthy man, he managed to raise and support six children. He epitomized the Jewish value of supporting one’s family. In addition to this, he was always very charitable.
Although this project only focuses on one of my JEANETIC lines, all of my four sets of great grandparents are from Lithuania. They all spoke Yiddish (which is a Jewish Language) and they all made sure that Yiddishkeit was a prominent feature in their homes and ways of living.
Gabriella Aires participated in My Family Story 2020. My Family Story is an experiential and fun Jewish heritage program that involves Jewish youth from 30 countries around the globe. Students research their roots, conduct family interviews and use their creative skills to design original, artistic installations that capture the essence of their family history. Top entries are selected for display in an international exhibition in Memory of Manuel Hirsch Grosskopf, displayed at The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot.
In German, seide means silk. The Yiddish surname 'Zaidel' derives from this word.