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Wisconsin Folks
Annabelle Argand

Judaic Needlework
Madison, WI

Annabelle ArgandWhat do you think of when you hear the word “Jewish”? Annabelle Argand thought of pictures.

Annabelle grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she learned needlework from her Jewish grandmother. Every Sunday, her bubbe would take her to buy a piece of fabric to cross-stitch. She stitched challah covers, kitchen curtains, icebox covers—almost any piece of fabric that could lie flat on something!

Annabelle attended Hebrew School where she learned stories, Jewish traditions, the Jewish calendar, and how to speak Hebrew. Every week she helped her grandparents prepare for the Sabbath by polishing their menorah
menorah: (sounds like, meh-NOR-a)
a candelabrum used especially
during Chanukah.
and setting the table for Sabbath dinner. Later in her life, she and her husband Leo lived in Jerusalem for sixteen years.

After moving to Wisconsin, Annabelle worked at Beth Israel Center, her Madison synagogue, and was very involved with the Woman’s League for Conservative Judaism. Now you can understand why pictures come to mind when Annabelle heard the word “Jewish”!

Even though Annabelle’s art work was all done in fabric, you will see many different types of art when you look at what she created:

  • beautiful useful objects like a torah cover, yarmulke, or chuppah.
  • landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes of Israel
  • art that tells stories, either the story of someone’s life or stories from the Bible.

To Annabelle's Art Form 

Dane County, Wisconsin

For Educators:

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Annabelle Argand




Click to read students' stories

4th & 5th graders at Randall Elementary write about their visit to Beth Israel Temple.

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