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When Alissa Haroush was a little girl, she and her mother, jewelry designer Paula Brooks, would spend hours crafting projects together. As Haroush got older, Brooks’ business began to take off. By the time Haroush was a senior at UCLA, where she was earning a bachelor’s degree in Judaic studies, she was helping her mom fill orders and eventually lending a hand in their design.

Which was a perfect fit. Together, the pair has brought Los Angeles-based Alef Bet Jewelry to a higher level of sophistication and faith, incorporating elements of Judaism and spirituality in pieces that are modern, fresh and favorites of fashionistas of all ages.

“Our jewelry utilizes many motifs which have been associated with strength and vitality for centuries,” Haroush says.

Among them are symbols of the eye to protect against the “evil eye,” chai symbols, Stars of David, the Tree of Life and the hamsa (from the Hebrew word chamesh, or five) — some say the protective hand-shaped amulet references the Five Books of Moses, and some call it the hand of Miriam, Moses’ sister.

The red-thread Kabbalah bracelet, or bendel bracelet, is meant to invoke the protective power of the matriarch Rachel. Bracelets, necklaces and rings are beautifully embellished with shimmering gemstones, charms, Hebrew letters and images that are as meaningful and inspiring as they are cool.

The Hebrew Beloved Necklace ($65) is intertwined with the words ani le dodi v’dodi li (“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”), from the Song of Solomon.

PHOTO 2 - beloved necklace

The Bohemian Hamsa Bracelet ($50) is crafted of 14 karat gold plate.

PHOTO 1 - hamsa

An explanation card accompanies the blue iolite-studded Healing Necklace ($62), which includes the Hebrew prayer for healing, El Na Refa Na La.

PHOTO 4 - healing necklace

The Tiny Chai Red Thread Bendel Bracelet ($19) is also available with a peace sign.

PHOTO 3 - BENDEL14A

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