Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve


Tired of wearing designer clothes and lining the pockets of fashionistas?
These days, clothing companies are banking on Jewish pride and charity as the
impetus for their labels.

Jewcy and Jewish Jeans are both joining a growing clique of
edgy Jewish enterprises, such as Heeb magazine and JDub Records that deliver
secular Jewish culture in pop culture formats.

Jewish Jeans (www.jewishjeans.com) donates a portion of its
sales to victims of suicide bombing attacks in Israel.  It offers shirts embroidered
with “Nice Jewish Boy” and “Single Jewish Girl,” and political messages such as
“Pursue Peace” and “Support Israel.”

“Whether you want to make a statement about your social
status or your political views, Jewish Jeans delivers powerful messages in a
stylish and fun way,” the Web site asserts.

The company was founded by Columbus, Ohio residents, Steven
Verona, 34, a successful inventor, and Daniel Wolt, 36, owner of a home
remodeling company who recently resigned his post as social director of the
Young Jewish Community of Columbus to work on the project.

Verona said he became involved in Jewish Jeans in an effort
to combat anti-Semitic sentiment and promote a positive Jewish image.

“Jewish Jeans allows you to make a statement of pride in
your heritage … proudly wear your Jewish Jeans clothing knowing that you
helping to make the world a better place,” the site promises.

Another label, Jewcy, is selling T-shirts, hats and
underwear branded with the bold “Jewcy” logo, in which the “W” is actually the
Hebrew letter shin.

“We did it purely to amuse ourselves, but it’s touching a
chord and that’s gratifying,” said theater producer Jenny Wiener, 34, who
conceived of Jewcy with her husband and business partner, Jon Steingart, 35;
Jason Saft, 25; and Saft’s boss, Craig Karpel, 36.

Although they don’t define themselves as actively religious,
the Jewcy people are proud of their heritage and believe there are enough
likeminded Jews out there to sustain a line of clothing, as well as what they
plan to be regularly scheduled live events.

According to the Jewcy.com Web site, being Jewcy means being
“pro-Manischewitz, pro-Jewfro, pro-Barneys Warehouse sale. It’s knishes with a knasty
attitude.”

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