(images via Jewish Standard)
At a Sotheby’s auction last month, Frank Sinatra‘s yarmulke recently sold for $10,000.
According to Jewish Standard, the kippah, as it is also known, was presented to Frank in 1981 in Atlantic City—at the annual awards dinner held by the Hebrew Academy of Atlantic County. It was a gift from Samuel “Sonny” Schwartz, a longtime journalist/columnist/radio host in the Atlantic City.
The Times of Israel went on to discover that the cap, worn to fulfill the customary requirement that the head be covered in Jewish ceremonies, was knitted by Marcia Freedman, of Edison, NJ. She explained that the musical notation on the kippah spells out the first two-and-a-half bars of Sinatra’s classic, “New York, New York.”
“I spent a lot of time on it because I wanted it to mean something,” said Freedman. “I didn’t make a big deal because I figured Sinatra would just take the kippa afterwards, throw it in a drawer, throw it out. I didn’t think he would keep it.”
Sinatra was often an outspoken advocate for Jewish causes and loathed any sort of social bigotry.
Frank starred in a ten-minute short film called The House I Live In, written by Albert Maltz, produced by Frank Ross and Mervyn LeRoy.
In the film, Frank spots a gang of kids chasing a Jewish boy down an alley. Frank intervenes, discusses the diversity in his own life growing up as a kid in Hoboken, and why it is important to accept all Americans, regardless of race, color, creed or lifestyle.
In 1946, The House I Live In won a Golden Globe, as well as an honorary Academy Award.
In 1981, Sinatra got Marcia Freedman’s yarmulke… and he kept it.
(Tip o’ the kippah to Erica Seitzman for the story. Mazel tov!)