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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Buttons and Baskets

Two opportunities to do good today:

First up is a project that the 7th grade class at my daughter's school has undertaken with the goal of collecting 1.5 million buttons corresponding to the approximately 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. 

Why buttons?

  • A button is a basic component for clothes; however each button has a unique shape and color.  This reminds us of the special uniqueness of every child who perished.
  • A button can close a jacket and protect us. This reminds us of the protection which was lacking for those children who perished.
  • A button is circular, which reminds us of the life cycle and that these children ending their cycles too soon.
  • A button is whole and complete. The Nazis uprooted children from the families and home and made their lives torn and incomplete.

The kids in my daughter's class are about two-thirds of the way to realizing their goal and are broadening their search for buttons to the international community for the final push.   

That's where you come in.

Please check to see if there are buttons attached to any of those old shirts and dresses that you've consigned to the rag bin at your house (or which you are about to throw away).  Even a few buttons will be welcome!

Please send the buttons to:

Asseh Chayil Elementary School
1 1/2 million buttons project
The Gefen Hill
Efrat 90435

The next project is perhaps a bit less esoteric... but every bit as important:

You may remember last summer that I was involved in the great Zionist Underwear Drive which delivered much needed underwear and socks to reservists who had been called up to fight in the Lebanon war but who had no way to wash or replace their, um, soiled skivvies. 

You guys came through in a spectacular way... resulting in several car/truck loads of these essential undergarments being delivered to staging points along the northern border.  This program was managed by the very worthwhile organization; Standing Together.

Well, Standing Together is up to good things again... this time in the form of a very ambitious Mishloach Manot drive this Purim for our young men and women serving in the IDF:

This campaign, known as 'Purim Together', serves as a practical and simple way to demonstrate your solidarity, support and appreciation of Israel's young soldiers. This is a wonderful way to show Israel's young heroes how much you care.

Just as with the Zionist Underwear Drive, I will be volunteering to drive some of the goodies.  I'll be dropping off some of the Mishloach Manot baskets to the troops stationed along my drive to work (Gush Etzion, South Hevron Hills and northern Negev).

The goal is to send 50,000 Mishloach Manot packages. About 30,000 have already been committed by the 'Friends of the IDF in Israel', and they are looking for the support of your schools, synagogues and communities for the additional 20,000.

This project provides a terrific opportunity to express your support and commitment to Israel, her people and her defenders. It is operated by Standing Together and the Friends of the IDF in Israel, as a philanthropic project, and is not a business venture [Ed. note: Unlike some of the ads you may see on various websites].

There are a couple of  ways you can help:

Click here to download the Purim Together Color Flyer.  Click here to download the Purim Together Black and White Flyer.  These are ready for you to distribute to your synagogue, organization and all your contacts.

Click here to make your donation for Purim Mishloach Baskets.

OK, that's it for today.  Whether you pick buttons or baskets (or both), I applaud you for your generosity.


Posted by David Bogner on February 18, 2007 | Permalink


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i'll go check my rag bag for buttons... btw, i got your school's cookbook a few days ago -- anything particularly good i should try? or avoid ;-) ?

Posted by: nikki | Feb 18, 2007 3:02:48 PM

As you probably know, buttons is not a problem chez moi. :)

But the mishloach manot drive accepts only checks. And checks we don't do in this country....PayPal, anyone???

Posted by: Account Deleted | Feb 18, 2007 3:07:31 PM

thank you abba!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ariella | Feb 18, 2007 3:27:06 PM

I wonder how long it will take buttons to get to Israel from Norway..... hmmm. the search is on...

Posted by: nrg | Feb 18, 2007 3:46:46 PM

The Mishloach Manot are now payable by Pay Pal (That was quick!)

nrg-ten days or so. If you have to make out a Customs form, make sure you write on it that it is for charity.

Buttons?! With pleasure!

Posted by: jennifer | Feb 18, 2007 5:50:04 PM

nikki... Thanks in advance for your buttons... and thanks for buying the cook book. As to the recipes, I'll refer all inquiries to my wife since you might have noticed from the credits that Zahava did all the layout and graphic design for the book. [~kvell~]

a. ... Anything at all would be welcome by the kids, but please don't 'waste' those gorgeous antique buttons on something like this. BTW, look again at the submission form for the baskets. If you fill in the fields and hit submit it takes you to the paypal and credit card page. The check info at the bottom is only for those who don't want to use the Paypal of CC option.

Ariella... You're welcome sweetie!

nrg... Not more than a week or two, I imagine. Thanks.

Jennifer... Thanks. I figured I could count on you. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 18, 2007 5:54:38 PM

What a great project. A year or so ago, I watched a documentary about this school in rural TN doing a similar project with paper clips. Here's their website:


Posted by: Beth | Feb 18, 2007 6:07:13 PM

Hmmmm.... not sure how doing the layout and design equals tested the recipe.... I haven't yet tried all the recipes which interest me, and the ones I have tried have mostly been the desserts as my main dishes tend to be things I can throw into one pot and walk away from.

The meat lasagne was very good -- very mild and fairly easy.

The crunchy top chocolate cake, the toffee squares and the frozen chocolate mousse cake were easy and scrumptious (note there are several chocolate mousse cake recipes -- used the last one in the book)!

Oh... and my egg custard souffle is quite good [she insists modestly!] but NOT recommended for those watching their cholesterol!

Posted by: zahava | Feb 18, 2007 8:03:27 PM

ok, now I want the cookbook...

Posted by: nrg | Feb 18, 2007 8:07:41 PM

thanks zahava! the crunchy topped cake piqued my interest as did the mousse -- my husband's fave. i'll get to trying the rest. and the layout is indeed very nice and clear.

Posted by: nikki | Feb 18, 2007 10:44:50 PM

Both projects sound like a great idea. What's going to happen to all the buttons in the end?

Posted by: Irina | Feb 19, 2007 12:19:42 AM

for inspiration, ariella:


this rural usa class collected 6 million paper clips as a project -- they did it and then needed to contend with where to put them all... they bought(or were given, i don't remember) a cattle car to store them in and thus created a holocaust memorial on the school grounds. unbelievable story -- including how they got the cattle car. it's now a book and i think it was made into a movie as well. worth searching for online and reading about.

Posted by: nikki | Feb 19, 2007 8:30:50 AM

Beth... Thanks. I'm not sure, but I think the paperclip project might have been the inspiration for this one.

Zahava... Please don't make any of these desserts in the next few months. I'm trying very hard to be good. :-)

nrg... I will be posting a link where you can get one in the coming week or two.

Irina... I was kinda wondering that as well. Maybe they will be donated (although who needs that many buttons???).

nikki... Thanks again.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 19, 2007 10:45:40 AM

Ahhhh -- has the PayPal / CC line been there from the beginning? If so, I should have my eyes checked. *duh*

Posted by: Account Deleted | Feb 19, 2007 10:52:22 AM

Wonderful causes, all.

Wouldn't supporting an Israeli business venture that gives goodies to the IDF be even better than supporting a philanthropic project that does the same, since it also gives an Israeli business man a living? One man's waste is another's profit... If I'm not getting anything out of it anyway is waste a bad thing?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 19, 2007 4:13:28 PM

a. ... um, no no... it just appeared. Really! ;-)

Doctor Bean... Are you sure that all of the business ventures peddling gifts for the IDF soldiers are based in Israel or 100% Israeli owned/operated? I'm not. I also have to think that if most of the gift basket options are similar in price and one is offered by a for-profit company... the value of the gift that reaches the soldier is bound to be somewhat more modest as a result of the company's overhead and profit.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 19, 2007 5:05:31 PM

Good points.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 19, 2007 5:43:50 PM

Thanks for the links as well as the reminder--mishloach manot made easy!

Buttons may be more of a problem....we're more of a T-shirt family, and we tend to lose what few buttons we have, but I'll search...

Posted by: aliyah06 | Feb 19, 2007 6:06:17 PM

Thanks. I'm not sure, but I think the paperclip project might have been the inspiration for this one.

There was a project collecting pennies that may have been the first of these things. I, and every Jewish-American who spent middle school getting pennies thrown at him, could only marvel at the obliviousness of that one.

Posted by: JSinger | Feb 19, 2007 7:14:57 PM

Mrs. B- those desserts! As if I needed another reason to take you up again on your offer of Shabbat hospitality... :-)

Posted by: tnspr569 | Feb 19, 2007 11:27:00 PM

What wonderful ideas...we'll pack up some buttons and get them right out. Hope they will make it there from Miami in time!

Posted by: orieyenta | Feb 20, 2007 4:42:08 PM

Is there a deadline for this great project?

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Feb 21, 2007 12:11:38 AM

aliyah06... No problem, not everyone is 'buttoned up'. :-)

JSinger... Wow, that just shouts 'bad planning'.

tnspr569 ... I'll pass on your compliments to the chef.

orieyenta... Whenever they get here will be fine. Thanks again.

Ilana-Davita... I think the end of the school year but don't delay. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 21, 2007 5:19:20 PM

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