Baruch – “Hadaya Jewelry” – makin a name for himself as a local artist in the Old City
Baruch couldn’t have imagined the path Hadaya would undertake on its way to becoming a leading Jewish brand, hand engraving Hebrew letters worn by fans worldwide.
In 1983, Baruch named the studio “Hadaya Jewelry” and started making a name for himself as a local artist in the Old City, a place his mother grew up in and that has always been a big inspiration of his. In a few years he’ll come up with the JERUSALEM SKYLINE which will later become a hadaya engraving trademark.
At first, Baruch Hadaya was making masterpieces, coming up with new designs for each customer creating a small and exclusive fan base, who made sure to order something when business was slow. An article from those days read “Hadaya only sells jewelry to his friends, as by the time you purchase something you have become a friend”.
Trying to make the most he can for the business, Baruch used his storytelling skills to attract new customers and as he was collecting more and more stories, he came upon the “Gam Zeh Ya’avor” story. Changing it up a little and giving the story his own little twists, he started telling that story and selling the matching ring. For a few years, the “Gam Zeh Ya’avor” story became the thing which Baruch was known for, our first website read “Best storyteller among Jewelers, Best Jeweler among Storytellers”. Baruch’s wife and sons would tell the story when traveling for jewelry shows in the US. GamZeYaavor.com
In 1999 Esh Hadaya came to his father with an idea of making a website for the business, “we should also find a unique name”. Back then, Baruch’s business card would read “Hadaya, Unique, One of a kind Jewelry” so the word “oneofakind” was quickly chosen to best describe our business. Hadaya’s first website was launched and by 2000 the site was fully automated for web sales. Officially, we have been selling on a daily basis since April of 2001 when a US site meant to support Israeli businesses during the second intifada (ShopInIsrael.com) posted a link to our website which brought a much needed online Jewish traffic. This won’t be the last time our site will help us keep the business afloat.
Girls from the midrasha in the jewish quarter started asking for custom engravings, biblical ones, some asked for quotes from songs or by famous people and one girl asked Baruch “make up a quote for my sister”, thinking for a short minute he came up with “there is no friend as a sister and no sister like my sister”. Today, this is considered one of Baruch’s “known quotes” among Hadaya fans as he continued to translate or make up new ones. Engraving Hebrew texts has never been the main focus of the business but after customers were asking for more quotes and more designs, it was obvious we are quickly taking on this new direction. Hadaya was now collecting quotes which in the future will become Hadaya’s Book. HadayasBook.com
An interesting story about Baruch Hadaya took place in one of the old city’s early mornings, he was already working as early as 5am, “I love it here quiet and not crowded” he once said when we opened the door at 5:23am. One of the “Yeshiva Girls” (this is the nickname Baruch fondly gave the Seminary girls) was knocking on his window at 6am to ask for a ring. Baruch wanted to express his gratitude for this early bird business, so while packing her new ring, he told the young woman about how it is believed that the first sale of the day “opens up luck” for the business; he also added “so you pay only 50% !”. “Oh, and tell your friends, if you are here at sunrise the first piece of the day goes for 50% off”. This is how our “Sunrise Sale” was born some 25 years ago and for the past 5 years, it has been happening online as well. Every day there are two potential lucky winners who get their (silver) pieces half off. Oneofakind-Store.com/Sunrise
With girls waiting by the door for him to open as early as 5:30am every day, Baruch felt he had to create a waiting area for his beloved “Yeshiva Girls” and so he made a stone bench under our “Gam Zeh Ya’avor” sign, adding some of Jerusalem’s Skyline engraved on to the stones along with the quote “Jerusalem reveals itself to those who love it” by S. Y. Agnon. #HadayaArt
Baruch taught a few team Hadaya members how to engrave and soon after engraving was Hadaya’s new thing we had more than one person engraving for customers. In 2010 the Horvah Synagogue was excavated behind our old studio location and the Rova Development Company had to move us to a new location. Luckily the small warehouse across from us was available so Hadaya received a permit to start digging and create a new store in the Jewish Quarter. This new location was way better than the last one, with more room for the workshop area and showcases. A funny story is that Baruch first had to choose his own address since there was no address for the original location, he picked 91 (the building to our left was 90 and to our right was 92). It was the one odd number on the even numbers side, moving across the street to the odd side with our 91 address felt like we were always meant to end up in that location.
Shahaf Hadaya was helping his father, working closely with him during the transition years, together they built the new Hadaya Studio using our new space better than before. They included a little niche on the back wall as an observation balcony overlooking the ancient cardo. This must be one of the coolest people watching spots in the old city, right over a 2000 year old street where tourists simply walk through the tunnel under your feet. #HadayaZoola
Sadly, that was the time Baruch was also diagnosed with a 7 year life expectancy Cancer.
As he was battling cancer Baruch felt a responsibility to help Hadaya move forward and not let his legacy wither with him. Naming his youngest son, Almog Hadaya, as his successor was a comical relief at home. Baruch was surely the only one to believe that it would be so.
The business kept growing during the next 7 years, we saw our studio holding more visitors every year. Hadaya’s website was upgraded and branded with the studio.
In one of their noon brainstorming, Baruch Hadaya and his eldest, Esh, came up with an idea to create weekly sayings. Not long after those little 50 seconds Smart Sayings they made helped Hadaya reach more people online, even if by putting smiles on faces or charging some hearts with hope, it was exactly what Baruch and Hadaya was all about. We still post those videos on a weekly basis to our facebook page. Oneofakind-Store.com/Smart-Saying
In Nov’ 2017 Hadaya lost its founder Baruch Hadaya who died at 67.
Team Hadaya kept the studio going as many customers from all over the world offered their condolences to the family and team. This was Hadaya’s biggest loss and we were not sure what would come next.
Almog Hadaya finished his IDF service and could officially join the team now. His father has already shown him how to engrave years ago and Almog has also designed a few pieces at the age of 15 (which we carry till this day), but he was now starting from the bottom and making sure he can first learn how to make a simple ring before he may step up to the plate and engrave it (engraving was always considered the more “artistic” and difficult skill to master). Quickly the team learned that Almog was indeed a skillful little jeweler, and actually enjoyed being such. Not long after the young apprentice became a little master and today he engraves most of the pieces Hadaya creates.
In March of 2020 due to covid, all tourist base business in the old city got hit hard. We saw 30 year stores around us close and it was only thanks to government grants and our online site that we were able to once again keep Hadaya going with little if any visitors to our studio. It’s only now, some two years later that we start seeing tourists coming back to shop in the old city.
Team Hadaya continues Baruch’s way of spreading Hebrew words among Jews and Israel supporters across the world. Creating each piece by hand and with love, making sure our customers always wear a smile with their Hadaya pieces. It has always been our customers who are like family and friends, keeping our business going by telling Hadaya’s story to others. Baruch would be very proud of what he has accomplished, a legacy that will hopefully outlive us all.
Team Hadaya currently consists of –
Shira Hadaya – CEO, Group Coordinator, Customer Care
Shahaf Hadaya – CFO, Jeweler, Customer Care
Esh Hadaya – SpokesPerson, IT manager, Customer Care
Almog Hadaya – Jeweler, Engraving Artist
Nirit I – Jeweler, Engraving Artist
Hanit K – Jeweler, Customer Care
Shira R – Jeweler, Customer Care
Sonya K – Customer Care
Amuna – Jeweler, Customer Care
Hadaya’s Website – Oneofakind-Store.com
Article by Esh Hadaya June 2022