I collect (American) Judaic lapel buttons
I have approximately 3000 unique items. Each one represents a different moment in the American Jewish life and offers a way to learn about the Jewish experience.
Jews have produced and distributed lapel buttons (or pins) since the beginning of the 20th century. Some of these were produced to commemorate celebrations, others to make a point at demonstrations. Some were produced for commercial gain, and others for a political campaign. Their purposes are legion and diverse. Some are humorous, some serious. Each one tells of a moment in the recent Jewish experience.
In the Spring of 1979, Present Tense magazine (published by the American Jewish Congress until the early 1990s) printed a brief description of my collection [Vol 6 #3 pp. 30-31, it was actually the cover story]. At the time, the collection numbered only a few hundred items.
things are not always as they seem
Sometimes I find a button that looks like it should belong in my collection. To be on the "safe side" I'll buy it… only to learn later that… the Image on century-old lapel button is priest, not rabbi:
…more at davka.org