The tallis is a traditional Jewish prayer shawl. When my grandfather came to this country in the 1930s, this was one of the few items he was able to take with him as he came over from Poland in steerage. My grandfather's Judaism was incredibly important to him, and he was a religious leader in his community here in America. On May 7th 2011, on the occasion of my Bar Mitzvah, he presented it to me, passing on a tradition of Judaism in our family going back hundreds of years. To me, it signifies an important family history and the incredible drive it takes to want to leave something better for your children and your grandchildren.
– Michael Mattson