Friday, August 3, 2012

Stitching Up Their Wounds

N.Y.-Israel knitting group ‘calms’ embattled Sderot girls, creates new connections.
Knitting group is bond between teenage girls in Manhattan, Sderot, seen above.
Niv Shimshon
Over a recent Skype video-call, two groups of preteen girls danced to “Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber, made funny faces at the camera, and compared knitting projects, one holding up a scarf, the other a headband.

The only difference: one group was on the eighth floor of the JCC in Manhattan, in an air-conditioned room with a sweeping view of the city skyline, the other in a windowless, rocket-proof Community Center in Sderot, a mile or so from the Gaza border in southern Israel.

The girls are part of a cross-cultural knitting group initiated by Noa Mintz, a 12-year-old girl from Manhattan, and they’re nearing their one-year anniversary. After a visit to Sderot with her family three years ago, Noa decided that she wanted to use her bat mitzvah money to help the Negev community that has, for years, endured a barrage of rocket fire, collateral damage in the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -- Hannah Dreyfus, NY Jewish Week

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