Biography of Eileen Brautman
Florida folk artist and retired art teacher Eileen Glickman Brautman makes ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts). Eileen first became involved in making ketubot through the art of making Polish paper cuts, which interested her because she is from a Polish Jewish family. Making ketubot became a way for Eileen to connect to her cultural heritage. “I had an inner need to make Judaic art but I didn't know it. I came to know it as part of my cultural tradition,” she says. She made her first ketubah (contract) in 1988 for her oldest son and his wife. Although many ketubot makers create only the border design or the calligraphy Eileen enjoys doing both. Despite not reading Hebrew, writing the calligraphy in Hebrew is not a difficult task for Eileen because she did calligraphy before she began to make ketubot. Eileen describes the process of making a ketubah as a spiritual experience. She says that when she makes one she feels that she has “accomplished a mitzvah” (blessing, commandment). She says that it feels good to be a part of a tradition that both unites a couple and, through the promise of a family, extends the Jewish people.