Crafting for a Greater Cause
We asked, and many of you answered! In response to our call-out for craft projects undertaken since October 7, we heard from several knitters, a scrapbooker, a multimedia artist and more. Here, we share examples of some of their fine handiwork, much of which either directly supports Israel—such as knitted hats for soldiers—or gives expression to the concern so many of us feel for the one and only Jewish state.
I have been painting and crafting since I was a young child. I like to use bright colors in my Jewish artwork to reflect Jews from all over the world. In my most recent work, I used torn paper that I reassembled as new images to represent Jewish resilience and response to trauma.
I crocheted these worry dolls as a small contribution for Israeli children, as part of the craft project organized by Tablet magazine. It felt good to do something.
Linda S. Jaffe
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
After October 7, Hadassah Cape Cod began making and sending hundreds of hats to Israeli soldiers. The response was so enthusiastic that I extended the project beyond the Cape. The Cape Cod Knitzvah Project was taken up by Hadassah sisters from all over the New England Region, Florida, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois and beyond. We all knitted hats for Israeli soldiers, some of which I had the privilege to bring with me to Israel earlier this month.
The Knitzvah project has sparked a sense of solidarity with Israel and has mobilized a community of passionate knitters to contribute to a greater cause.
North Eastham, Mass.
I am part of my chapter’s Knitzvah project. I’ve sent six hats to friends whose children are serving in the Israel Defense Forces. And while visiting Israel in February, I will be distributing many more directly to soldiers.
I am leading a group at my synagogue, the Westchester Jewish Center in Mamaroneck, N.Y., that is knitting black superwash wool hats to keep Israeli soldiers warm while fighting. Additionally, there is a facebook group Beautifully Jewish that has dozens of examples of the many projects created, including hats, worry dolls and other items. The group is sponsored by Tablet Magazine. They recently brought to Israel worry dolls and hats for soldiers as well as hats knitted for displaced families.
I recently discovered a hat pattern that I enjoy knitting. Using that pattern, a group of women at my synagogue, Kol Ami in White Plains, N.Y., and some of our friends have knitted and crocheted over 100 hats as well as scarves that we distributed at a Thanksgiving dinner for residents of a local homeless shelter. It was a wonderful experience.
White Plains, N.Y.
Although I was introduced to paint by numbers by my sister, Sarah, z’l, it wasn’t until after her death, when I was mourning her loss, that I took up my brush. She had courageously fought a 10-year battle with leiomyosarcoma.
Now, after October 7, I have been rolling out an increasing number of paintings and telling my family and friends about how zen it feels to work on a paint by numbers. Indeed, it is just as relaxing as my occasional knitting and crocheting of scarves as well as my needlepoint wall art. The paint-by-number canvases somehow make me feel more artistic and creative, despite having to paint “within a box.”
I recommend it for all ages and health conditions, especially after seeing the look of accomplishment and satisfaction on the face of my son, who suffers from depression, after he completes a canvas.
San Francisco, Calif.
Scrapbooking is my escape. When I’m scrapping pictures for my album, I focus solely on the creative process and don’t think about anything else. I’m currently working on photos from my daughter’s wedding, and it’s so heartwarming to remember happy times!
This is a reproduceable card that I made to send to troops in Israel. I gave a sample to my daughter’s school for students to write notes to soldiers on their own cards.