My name is Rebecca Tauber. I am a sixth grade student at the Robert Saligman Middle School in Philadelphia, PA. My mother, Dr. Andrea Weiss, is a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion that teaches graduate students studying to become rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators. Every year there is a retreat at the start of the school year for students and teachers, which I go to with my six-year-old brother, Ilan. For the past six years, I have sold hand made crafts at the retreat to raise money for different charities. Once my brother was old enough, he too started to help me. Now, the children of other faculty members have also joined us in fundraisers.
Over the years, we have raised money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand (which helps kids with pediatric cancer), the hungry in Niger, refugees in Darfur, global warming, and Nothing But Nets (which purchases mosquito nets for families in Africa). This year, we raised money to help pregnant Pakistani women through an organization called the National Health Forum. In July, my mother saw Nicholas Kristof’s article in The New York Times about Dr. Shershah Syed and his efforts to help Pakistani women who often die or are injured during childbirth. It is said that one woman in Pakistan dies every thirty-five minutes because of problems related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Even before my mom suggested that I donate to this cause, I had started working on my projects. In past years, we made things like magnets, pot holders, key chains, jewelry, and other small objects. This year, after learning how to sew, I made D-ring belts on my sewing machine, along with Shrinky Dink chamsas, which are decorated objects in the shape of a hand that you can hang on a wall with a hook. Shara and Yona Feit, the daughters of Dr. Wendy Zierler, also made trivets, coasters, and earrings.
My first year, when I was six, I collected $65 selling clay animals. Since then, each year we have raised more and more money. This year, we made $1,000 for the National Health Forum, thanks to the generosity of the students and faculty for the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion!
To view this article, please visit nhfus.org.