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Vered and Maddie's B'not Mitzvah

Vered And Maddie

Vered and Maddie

Hi! We’re Maddie and Vered! We are first cousins and in the 2021-2022 year, we will both be becoming Bat Mitzvahs. For our mitzvah project, in order to help others and give back, we wanted to come together and do a joint fundraiser to beautify a bomb shelter in Israel, a place close to our hearts.

While we grew up on opposite sides of the country, that never stopped us from being super close and always having a blast together, whether it was creating businesses like "Shellom" or creating “YouTube channels” like Hope & Grace and our very own Good Morning America, with a theme song too, we never stopped imagining and always trying to put a smile on someone’s face. Now, as we embark on this journey of becoming a Bat Mitzvah, we understand more than ever the significance of helping people, in Israel especially.

While in Israel in 2018, we walked through the underground tunnels and over the walls of Jerusalem, dug for ancient artifacts, drank shoko b'sakit, counted stray cats, planted trees with JNF, and most importantly learned the difference between “City of David” and “Tower of David” via a very long dark night navigating the streets of Jerusalem :) We loved walking freely through the streets of Israel, sightseeing.

But on May 10th, 2021, this normal way of life changed instantly. Many Israelis remained in bomb shelters for nights on end, not knowing what would happen next. Escalating quickly within the next couple of weeks, rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, while sirens wailed, putting millions of people in danger, forcing Israelis to scramble to the nearest bomb shelter.

Bomb shelters are a very common sight, sprinkled across the towns throughout southern Israel. Unfortunately, these are necessary for every Israeli to remain safe, especially towns, communities, and kibbutzim closest to the Gaza Strip. But by beautifying bomb shelters through playful art and imaginative designs, the once upsetting and scary cement boxes are less frightening and hopefully turned into magical masterpieces for the many children who need to race to one quickly when they hear the siren. In different parts of Israel, when the sirens blast, the civilians only have a matter of minutes, or even seconds to dash into the nearest shelter to take cover.

In this part of Israel, the closest to the Gaza Strip, rockets and missiles are just a part of life. But these people only have 15 seconds to take cover in a bomb shelter to protect themselves from an incoming threat. Imagine this, you are going about your everyday life and suddenly a siren blasts throughout your town. The “15 second timer” has already started and you have to race to the nearest shelter with your entire family. Don’t forget, you may even be roused from your sleep at any hour of the night to jump out of bed and race to your house’s shelter within seconds. For our family, it seems unimaginable considering how long it takes us to leave our houses to go anywhere!

As one can imagine, Israeli citizens are constantly living in fear of what might happen if they can’t get to a bomb shelter when the siren goes off. Children, for the most part, can be seriously effected by this in the long run. Having to dash to a bomb shelter at any hour of the day or night can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. That’s why this is such an important issue to us both.

Please help us support the Jewish National Fund by making a contribution to our fundraiser. Every dollar raised will help us reach our goal of $10,000. Once we meet our goal, we will have the opportunity to create a design to be painted on our bomb shelter. Below are some pictures of what a few beautified bomb shelters look like.

Thank you!

-Read below for more info about the area of Israel which our project would impact-

Located in the Northwest Negev on Israel’s borders with Egypt and Gaza, Halutza was founded by a group of families evacuated from the Gush Katif communities of Atzmona and Netzarim during Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. They moved to this remote corner of the desert – which had never been inhabited or farmed – because they saw the development of the Negev as Israel’s next national mission. Their 21st century pioneering spirit serves as the engine to bring other new people to the region.

Example of a beautified bomb shelter

Example of a beautified bomb shelter

Example of a beautified bomb shelter

Artist spray painting a bomb shelter

Example of another bomb shelter


raised of $10,000 goal

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