The person behind this new initiative is a 12- year-old girl from New York City, Noa Mintz, who wanted to do something significant to honor her Bat Mitzvah that combined her love for knitting and her love for Israel.
Despite talk of truce, Gaza rockets fired at Ashkelon70% of Sderot kids traumatized
Noa sought to create a project that would benefit girls living in Sderot, a community in southern Israel often targeted by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. She chose to work alongside a UJA-Federation of New York mitzvah coordinator, as part of the UJA-Federation “Give a Mitzvah-Do a Mitzvah” program, to brainstorm an individual project worth her time, energy, and a portion of her Bat Mitzvah gifts.
The result was a special therapeutic knitting class for girls, sponsored by Noa and her family, which donated $15,000 toward the project. The class quickly grew popular among girls in the southern community.
“When I visited Sderot three years ago and saw how close it is to Gaza, it was a very moving moment for me,” Noa said. “I recently fell in love with knitting as a group bonding and therapeutic thing, and decided that I wanted the same for the girls in Sderot. “
Noa has recently arranged a Skype call that connected her knitting buddies in New York and the girls in Sderot. The transatlantic video conference was a success, with the girls dancing to each other’s music and sharing experiences.
Last week, Noa travelled to the Jewish state with her family and met with the girls in Sderot.
“Noa’s project is truly amazing. Not only does it provide other young girls a great example of how to become more involved in philanthropy, it also helps to strengthen the relationship between the Jewish community in New York and in Israel,” said Sheila Devore, the director of the Center for Youth Philanthropy and Leadership at UJA-Federation.