by Annie Resnikoff and Georgia Slater
In an effort to raise support and donate money toward the Israel Emergency Fund, Westfield resident Maxine Schwartz has embellished the popular Kabbalah “red string bracelet” to sell to the greater community.
According to kabbalah.com, Kabbalah is the world's oldest body of spiritual wisdom, and the Kabbalah bracelet, according to Schwartz, “is worn to ward off evil and protect its wearer.”
Said Schwartz: “I started making the bracelets about two years ago. [They] are my interpretation of the traditional red string Kabbalah bracelet….When the conflict began in the Middle East this summer, I wanted to do something to help. So I decided to sell these red string bracelets and donate all profits for humanitarian purposes in Israel.”
According to Schwartz, 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to the Israel Emergency Fund to help the people of Israel during a difficult time of war; the fund supports purely humanitarian efforts. For example, some of the donations are used to provide activity kits to lift up the spirits of those children and teens confined to bomb shelters, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Said Schwartz: “I had a bunch of college students, high schoolers and even moms in Westfield and the area volunteer their time to make the bracelets, too. We sat around my kitchen table and made thousands of bracelets. It was a great summer, community-minded activity.”
Since the start of Schwartz’s “red string bracelet” project on July 17, she has raised more than $34,000, with each bracelet priced at $25. Bracelets were purchased by people in the U.S., the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Norway and Israel, according to Schwartz.
Although this specific project donating to the Israel Emergency Fund is coming to a close, the bracelets will still be available for purchase and a percentage of profits will still be donated for humanitarian purposes in the Middle East. To buy a “red string bracelet”, contact Maxine Schwartz or visit her website at masdesignsjewelry.com.