Rare, pure silver artwork from between the olive trees
Hidden among the olive groves in Hevel Modiin is the largest silver studio for sterling silver worldwide. Hazorfim’s workroom holds a rare and breathtaking sight: dozens of craftsmen working side by side, the delicate silver responding to their skilled touch and forming exceptional works of art. Hazorfim is a group of artisans active since 1952, and each item is passed through more than 30 skilled hands, which together create a perfect piece. Each item begins as a dream that is transmitted to artists who sketch and mold it into reality, and eventually it is cast, beaten, soldered, and soaked, each by an expert artisan in that field.

From the dawn of humanity, man has favored this stately metal, and owning sterling silver is considered a sign of wealth and abundance.

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This was the metal chosen for the holy vessels of the Tabernacle, a metal synonymous with profitable investment, lusted after by ancient sea pirates and which in Medieval Times served as a source of funding for war and redeeming captives.

Kings and aristocracy discovered the anti-bacterial properties inherent in silver, and silver has been used to find poisons in water sources. Eating off silver has long been a symbol for long life.

The goal: reinstating silversmithing in Israel
Silversmithing is a traditional vocation passed from generation to generation, a Jewish profession since the times of the Temple. Through a tumultuous history, scattered among the nations, the Jews have upheld this ancient, disappearing art. The founders of Hazorfim held on to their vision of returning the art of silverwork to Jewish smiths in the new state and preserving the craft for future generations.

At Hazorfim, a group of artisans works with the same ancient techniques, and every day a new item is formed from pure silver. Hazorfim’s silversmiths sit at the leading end of current silversmithing worldwide.

Three survivors of the Nazi inferno, talented smiths in Eastern Europe, managed to bring their tools to Israel. In one of their kitchens, they set up a small   workshop, which they named Hazorfim.

Yosef Mardinger, Michael Steinmetz, and Wilhelm Kerner formed a partnership and set off on a journey whose end they could not have fathomed.

To the small kitchen workshop, homemakers would bring family heirlooms to be mended, and wonderful new items began to be created for the new generation.

Despite the difficult financial times and period of austerity, religious customers never went without silver to beautify the Shabbat, and Hazorfim’s name was advertised by word of mouth. Buyers from Israel and abroad began to flock to the small workshop. The workshop expended, and moved to south Tel Aviv, to Kibbutz Galuyot St.

When the partners reached the age of 60, they decided to bring in the younger generation. Yaakov Mardinger, Yosef’s son, tells of his long journey   that began when he was a small child bouncing around the kitchen workshop, until today.
“As early as I remember, I wielded a hammer. When I was 13, I designed two silver pieces, one of which – a spice box – is sought-after till this day. It was a prototype that became surprisingly successful. I worked in the workshop after school and on vacations, but never dreamed that this would become my future profession.”

In 1983, the Mardinger family bought out the other Hazorfim partners, and the company remains under their ownership. Unfortunately, Yosef Mardinger passed away shortly thereafter, and his 27-year-old son was left to run the company alone. Under his expert hands, Hazorfim transformed from a group of twenty artisans to a reputable company, employing over 200 smiths. In 1994 the workshop moved to its current center in Kfar Daniel, in Hevel Modiin.

The Artists
Not for nothing was Hevel Modiin chosen for the factory setting. Between the hills and olive groves flew the banner of the Hasmonean rebellion against the Greeks 2000 years ago, and those hills where the battles were fought are the view from the windows of Hazorfim’s factory.

Hazorfim’s sterling silver Hanukkah menorahs are one of the most sought-after pieces by art collectors the world over, and are created appropriately within the setting that has become a symbol of the Jewish nation’s strength, in memory of which we celebrate Hanuka.

The art at Hazorfim can be found at the company’s chain stores and their online store. Daily, a unique piece becomes rare, and a new work of art is added.

Hazorfim’s artists, led by Yakov Mardinger, design unique collections with an Israeli orientation, and above all, each item is designed with a special understanding of the nature of sterling silver and of the intricacies of silversmithing. 

The attractive selection includes candlesticks, Kiddush goblets, Hanuka menorahs, Judaica, and serving dishes that will enhance every any home.

“Design is a like a relay race”, Yakov explains. “You have to make constant progress or you fall behind. We enjoy the challenge of complex design, not sitting back on our laurels, daring to dream up new ideas.”

The dreams of Hazorfim’s artists join the selection of unique silver pieces, creating a perfect gift for the holidays.

“At the end of the day,” Yakov summarizes, “when I look at our silver creations silverwork, crafted in Israel, and know that our pieces will adorn so many homes in Israel and abroad for many long generations, I see the long process in which many, many artists have taken part, and I cannot help but be uplifted by the honor of participating in such a majestic occurrence: the soul    of silver.”

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