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  • sarahmannyeager

Gr'hat'itude part 2

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Chesed Hats with beanies arriving by the dozen and donations rolling in to keep those of you who need extra help supplied with yarn, and to boost the Yarn Fund for the next tranche of money to be sent to Israel.

About two weeks ago Ruth Genn very kindly facilitated the transfer of funds from Chesed Hats to Orly at The Gourmet Yarn Shop in Ra'anana. Your generosity has allowed us to send £500 to Israel to purchase yarn for Israeli knitters. Orly has decided to provide the yarn as a 'BOGOF' (buy one, get one free), for those coming in to purchase yarn for IDF beanies, up to a quantity of 60 balls. The residual funds will be used to purchase another brand of yarn that will be gifted to knitting circles in Israel.

In one of my other incarnations, I volunteer for Campaign Against Antisemitism and have been doing so for approximately six years. I was privileged to be able to marshal the march, and subsequent rally, that took place on 26th November and is the second largest gathering of Jews and their supporters since 1936. That it should even be necessary in 2023 is astounding; but it was a life and Judaism affirming moment to stand with 105,000 (actual figures from the Met Police from their helicopter) Jews and our supporters to call out antisemitism that is seeing a huge increase since the atrocities on 7/10. While marshalling, I wore one of the beanies I had knitted and was recognised as 'the hat lady' by several people who saw the article in the Jewish Chronicle! The day ended with a splendid rally in Parliament Square and it was a very proud moment to see the whole of Whitehall filled with people all the way to Trafalgar Square.

Three of our speakers: Eddie Marsan, Rachel Riley and Tracey Ann Oberman.

As more hats arrive I am struck by the kindness of our community and the desire to do something concrete for our 'brothers and sisters' who serve and protect Israel. For those of you who knit, please feel free to add a little note to the recipient that can be tucked inside the hat. If you are not a knitter please also feel free to send a note or two, and I will include them along with the next batch of hats to go.

Last weekend a UJIA group went to Israel for the week and we have to stay a great big Chesed Hats THANK YOU to Carolyn Mishon who took the last batch of hats with her to Jerusalem. Carolyn made time during her very busy schedule to hand deliver the beanies to the Michael Levin Centre for Lone Soldiers in Jerusalem. The soldiers there were overwhelmed by your kindness and the support shown to them by complete strangers; here is a picture of one of them wearing one of YOUR beanies! It would not be a blog post without the inevitable 'big ask': If you know anyone, or have friends who know anyone that is travelling to Israel, (and it doesn't matter when) and that has space to take beanie hats, PLEASE let me know by messaging me here, a pm, Facebook message, WhatsApp, telephone, smoke signals, jungle drums or carrier pigeon (joke). We are always grateful and it saves us the cost of postage which allows us to make a bigger donation to the Yarn Fund. To paraphrase Claudia and Tess: Keep knitting! Sarah x

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