Tom Freudenheim’s very special bar mitzvah tallit

When Simon Emil Freudenheim becomes a bar mitzvah this Saturday, he will be wearing the most astonishing tallit. It is made of a letter handwritten in an amalgam of Yiddish and German by his great-great-great-grandfather, and its backstory is a mosaic of history, art, tradition, technology and community.

This tallit weaves multiple generations and cherished family artifacts into its fabric.

Simon is the grandson of Tom, who was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1937, is an accomplished art historian who has run museums in Baltimore, London and Germany, and held high-ranking posts at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Read the story in the Forward here