Life & Culture

Let’s celebrate Jewish women and everything they make and do

Michelle Stimler Morris wanted to celebrate Jewish women and their many achievements. So she's putting on a festival


I had walked past that door hundreds of times. But the day I stepped inside I was amazed to discover beautiful childrenswear being sold in a special room in her house.

She had been doing it for years but I hadn’t known. I started wondering, how many great things do Jewish women do that we don’t know about?

By the time I got home, I had the idea of a festival to celebrate Jewish female creativity. By bedtime, I had started recruiting a team.

The result is HerSpace: a marketplace of pop-ups, a programme of talks, goodie bags, complementary drinks and a luxury raffle on Wednesday March 4, all organised by me, a stay-at-home mum of three and a creative freelancer, and Shoshana Gertner, a mum of two with a small business she runs from home.

Lots of ideas come and go, but something about this was sticky. Everyone we spoke to about this festival exploded with enthusiasm.

We knew we wanted to use the festival as a way of generating further good for Jewish women, so we approached the charity Noa Girls, a confidential service providing practical, emotional and therapeutic support for adolescent girls in the community.

“We are really excited by the concept of your event,” wrote Naomi Lerer, director of Noa Girls. “Female creativity and empowerment is something we focus on to build happier, healthier and more hopeful futures.”

We decided to only seek independent contemporary brands by Jewish women from all different backgrounds in London, who sell products they design themselves.

When we started out, we could only name seven such brands. We scoured Instagram and interrogated every person we spoke to, and now have 26 featured brands across fashion, beauty, accessories, food, homeware and culture.

We are also having a contemporary fine art section curated by Nir Segal, an artist supported by Outset Contempory Art Fund. He has gathered together Jewish female artists across London, some of whom are producing work especially for this event.

“Great art should be for the many, not just the few,” says Candida Gertler OBE, co-founder of Outset. “People can start collecting good quality art and it doesn’t need to be expensive.”

Our talks vary from talks about sustainable fashion, the impact of art on our lives, the power of meditation and how to care for your skin.

Waterstones, Sushi Haven, Bread and the JC will also have spaces as sponsors as well as a coffee station provided by Esther Taylor Designs. Other generous donors have all contributed to ensure costs are covered so all the vendor commission, tickets and raffle revenue goes directly to the charity. Miri Moses of Flowers by Miri is so passionate about this project that she is donating all the flower arrangements for the day.

Being Jewish is a label that can sometimes work against us in the wider world. For some, it might be because they leave early on Fridays while for others it’s just their name that makes people view them differently. HerSpace is an opportunity to give these women a boost in their own community where we are proud to support our sisters.

Women become empowered when we give them power. Our designers, our artists, our experts, our dreamers, our Noa Girls — we’re giving it to you.


Herspace is on Wednesday March 4 at The Pillar Hotel, Hendon from 9.30am-2.30pm and 5pm -10pm

Instagram: @herspace_london


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