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AJPA JRelease - Christian Mom from Arkansas Invents Jewish Sukkah Fruit Hanger

Thursday, October 6, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Christian Mom from Arkansas Invents Jewish Sukkah Fruit Hanger

Leo was taken aback when he heard the slow southern drawl on the other end of the line. He thought he must have reached the wrong number. He was calling from Brooklyn, N.Y., to inquire about a recent email the Jewish mom blog had received from a company announcing its latest product. With the Jewish celebration of Sukkot just around the corner, Leo loved the product.

But, the email rambled on about pomanders (whatever those were), fishing hooks, and, of all things, a Bible Belt mom working on a project for her kid’s school. How exactly did those dots connect and how had they led to him?

Leo dialed the number.

My phone rang.

During our conversation, I explained to Leo that I had always been a hands-on type person who loves to craft and tinker with things. I also told him that, two years ago, some seemingly unrelated experiences merged and manifested as the invention he had read about in the email.

Previously that fall I had been making orange-clove pomanders (oranges studded with whole cloves for their warm orange and spice aroma) to decorate and scent my home for Thanksgiving. I wanted to hang the pretty ornaments from the inside door frames, to disperse the warm aroma. But, wrapping the fruits in the traditional ribbon proved easier said than done. The fruit was round, had slick sides and was relatively heavy. The pomanders kept slipping between the ribbons and falling out. I finally succeeded in hanging the pomanders with the ribbon only to witness my school-aged son whack the dangling pomander like a tether ball, sending it sailing across the kitchen! Defeated, I thought: There must be a better way.

A few days later I noticed some of my husband’s fishing hooks on the office desk. They were funny hooks, with a straight barbed piece of metal attached to the eyelet. My husband explained that they were for attaching plastic fishing worms to the hook. The barbs were to prevent the worm from sliding off of the hook as the fisherman pulled it through the water.” Hmm,” I wondered. “Could I use those hooks to hang my pomanders?”

 Pomander hung with my fruit hanger

It didn’t work, at least not at first. The barbs were too tiny to hold the fruit. Plus, the hooks were very sharp, not ideal for use in a house with children. But, the hook idea stuck, so out came the needle-nosed pliers and paperclips. After many shapes and designs, I made a hook that was fast and easy to insert. Soon, fruits of various kinds were suspended from the doorframes and the “tether balling” commenced. The difference was that this time none flew off. Success!

Four months later, I was recruited by my sister to help prepare for the upcoming World Experience Day at our children’s school. This is an annual tradition in which the parents transform the entire school campus into a featured foreign country. Huge landmark buildings and structures are created, the effect being much like a movie set. Natives are invited to share insights about their home country. Traditional music, dance, costumes, and food are prepared. It is a hands-on, interactive, total immersion experience that the students and parents alike look forward to.

That spring, the featured country was Israel. My sister was in charge of making a Sukkah. Growing up in
a state with a Jewish population of less than 0.5% and having attended Christian schools, we had no idea
what a Sukkah was. We educated ourselves about Sukkot and Sukkahs and went to work. The students
made ceramic fruits to hang from the roof of the Sukkah. When it came time to hang these creations
from the roof, we encountered the same problems I had encountered when hanging my pomanders.
The round, slick sided, heavy fruits kept slipping out of the twine and ribbon onto the floor. I learned in
my research that traditional Sukkahs are decorated using fresh fruits suspended from the ceiling. I
empathized with the Jewish people who decorate Sukkahs every year, tediously wrapping the ribbon
and trying to hang it to the roof of their Sukkah. This was my Eureka moment. I realized that my
pomander hooks could benefit not just me but a lot of people!

And, that is how a Christian mom from Arkansas invented a Sukkah fruit hanger and came to have a
conversation with Leo from the Jewish blog.


ClarkRidge™ Fruit & Pomander Hangers make hanging fruit fast, easy, safe, and secure!

Now available at Eichler’s, Newtown Home Center, The Homery, and Wilhelm’s Housewares in Brooklyn, N.Y., Merkaz Seforim in Monsey, N.Y., ABC Toys in Monroe, N.Y., Kings Stationary in Spring Valley, N.Y., and N.P.G.S. in Jackson, N.J.

Available for wholesale distribution through Alef To Tav in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Or visit our website at

Also available from ClarkRidge Company:
Fruit Pomander Crafts & Creations Kit includes everything you need to turn your fruit into beautiful, aromatic pomanders

Fruit Pomanders & Creations EBook featuring over 25 fruit crafts and Pomander Critters™

For more information contact:
Teresa Clark, ClarkRidge Company

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