Attend a Judaica auction, bidding from your desktop

Please note that inclusion of a site in this column should not be considered a recommendation. Before you buy or sell anything through an online auction, check the site's reliability and its policies. I strongly recommend reading a U.S. Federal Trade Commission primer, "Internet Auctions: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers,"

Prices refer to items on sale when this column was written and may no longer be available.

Of course, the granddaddy of all online auctions isn't actually a "Jewish" auction. But Jewish collectors are bound to find something interesting at eBay. You can jump directly to eBay's Jewish section, more than 2,000 items were up for sale when I last checked. Here are some that caught my eye: a silver and coral Yemenite bridal headdress, 1870 ($1,200), a menorah in the shape of an airplane ($69.99) and a vintage March for Soviet Jewry protest pin ($5). It's at http://makeashorterlink.


Despite its name, Art Online — — doesn't conduct its auctions online. But it lets you browse the items to be sold at the next public auction to take place in Ramat Gan and place your bid online. If you had your eye on Marc Chagall's "Bouquet de fleurs et fruits," 1980, you're too late. It was sold recently for $149,500. If you really want to bid on investment-grade art (and have nerves of steel), then go to Hammersite —

Virtual Judaica Auctions — — specializes in antiquarian Jewish books and rare documents. Recently, there was a first edition of Kol Bochim-Lamentations, Venice, 1589 ($901), a letter by Rabbi Abraham ben Rabbi Jacob Avihazira, Morocco, 1883 ($2,700); and Sir Moses Montefiore's copy of The Order of the Daily Prayers, London, 1810 ($170). Even if you don't intend to bid, this site is worth a visit.

Aside from having a catchy name, OyVey Auctions — — markets itself as a low-cost auction site with a social conscience. Eighteen percent of all annual profits plus the proceeds from one 24-hour day in each month will be donated to such charities as the Simon Wiesenthal Center or Aish HaTorah. Items include a Holocaust armband ($49.95), a men's 14K gold chai with chain ($19.95) and a Shawn Green Upper Deck baseball card ($9.99).

Although it couldn't possibly match the thrill of bargaining in an Israeli shuk, describes itself "the best play to buy and sell anything and everything Jewish." On the block were a mahogany and silver challah board ($60), a copy of the "Heimishe Kitchen Kosher Cookbook" ($13.50) and a mezuzah parchment ($64.99). The site is at

Still looking for more auctions? There's the Hungarian-based Online Judaica Auction, where I came across an antique brass

spice box ($319.00) and a 1914 postcard of the synagogue of Nagyvárad, Hungary ($9). It's at Collectors of Israeli stamps and coins should check out the Stamp Fair site at tion/XcAPViewInCat.asp?ID=41