A tallit (or tallis, for some) is a deeply personal garment, and choosing the right one is not to be taken lightly.Today’s tallitot come in all sizes, colors, and styles just like the individuals making up the increasingly inclusive Jewish community. Whether you’re hunting for a rainbow tallit gadol (big tallit) that allows for joyful dancing, or a baby pink bat mitzvah special sure to make bubbe bawl, or a traditional number to pray in every day, or a bespoke treasure, it’s available in the greater New York area.
Here is The Forward’s guide to tallit shopping around the city:
Touting Judaica for every moment of life, the welcoming vibe of Yussel’s Place is worth a special schlep to Long Island just to choose the perfect tallit for a bar or bat mitzvah to-be. There’s nothing like trying on the real thing at age 12 and imagining standing at the bimah. Yussel’s has a vast selection of reasonably priced tallitot from an understated wool line by Talitania to woven three piece sets by Gabrieli. There’s even a hand painted lavender and pink Jerusalem skyline on silk.
30A Merrick Avenue, Merrick, NY
The Cooper Shop at The Jewish Museum
Those with an eye for functional luxury should peruse the beautifully curated options available at The Cooper Shop at The Jewish Museum. Keen to tap into your Italian roots? Spend $850 (or $765 with a museum member discount) for a silk tallit by Talled di Seta, an heirloom quality shawl that channels the old country’s tradition of wearing a white tallit with royal blue silk stripes to mark meaningful life ceremonies. This one’s sure to become a family heirloom.
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York, NY (212) 423-3211 https://shop.thejewishmuseum.org
This classic Judaica shop on Coney Island provides “tallitot for men” specifically. Those considering a visit can first try out the snappy “Tallis Wizard” search feature on Eichler’s website to generate highly personalized suggestions for flattering, timeless prayer shawls in every fabric — from acrylic to 100% virgin wool to embroidered cotton, with an impressive stock of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi designs.
1401 Coney Island Ave (Between Avenue J & K)
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Founded in the Lower East Side in 1920 by Polish immigrant Samuel Yaroslawitz, and now in its fourth generation of Judaica design, Zion Tallis is still based in New York but now exclusively sells online. This is the place to find the quintessential (and affordable) rainbow tallit or to order a personalized set with a uniquely embroidered atarah (neckband) and matching bag to honor someone who matters.
Tallit by Ina Bearak Helfand
Still struggling to find the tallit that perfectly suits your taste, character or prayer style? Consider commissioning Yorktown Heights-based artist Ina Bearak Helfand to create something deeply personal by incorporating sentimental textiles such as a departed grandfather’s neckties, meaningful musical scores, a vintage wedding gown or even old family photos.
Danna Lorch is an American arts & culture writer based in Boston. She recently relocated back to the US after seven years spent covering the emerging art, fashion, and design scene in Dubai. Recent work has appeared in Vogue Arabia, Architectural Digest Middle East, L’Officiel USA, ARTnews and elsewhere. She holds a graduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard and is interested in the intersection of art, fashion, and faith. Find her on Instagram and Twitter
Where To Buy A Tallit - Jewish Prayer Shawl