Monday, December 19, 2011

What's in a Hat?

The trunk of my car
Dear Knitters,
In the past few weeks, your hats have gone out to cold soldiers serving in Hebron, the Golan and the Negev. The soldiers have been very, very grateful and I, too, want to say: thank you!

Many of the hat knitters have fascinating personal stories that they've shared with me over the years. They are at least as touching as the fact that your hats keep on coming. As a Chanukah gift, I'd like to share two recent ones with you.

1. From a woman in Canada who has sent many hats over the years:

I picked up this last batch of hats from a lady who lives in a retirement village in Toronto. The lady who heads up this project is 79 years old. She is a holocaust survivor with much life experience. At one of the camps during the war, she and her sister were split up -- she risked her life by grabbing her sister from the arms of a nazi and saved her sister, and the stories go on. She is assisted in this project by a 97-year-old and a 90-year-old. These 3 ladies and about 15 others have knitted 180 hats for our project.

2. A woman in New Jersey, U.S.A. included this letter to soldiers in her latest hat shipment:

Dear Soldier,
I have been making hats for the IDF 3 years now. This year the hats have a special meaning to me. Ten days before my father Isaac’s yarzheit I decided to do something special. I made a commitment to make 10 hats in my dad’s memory.

My father controlled the port in Sudan, Africa. The paperwork for anything imported or exported from the port ran across his desk. My father was killed because he was a Jew and aided Jews in many different capacities. He died after purposely being run down by a Muslim driver. The driver jumped off the truck before the impact.

During one instance a group of Yemenites were fleeing to Israel but got lost. My father hid them among the bags of grain on the ship and they escaped to Israel. My mother (may her soul rest in peace) told me another instance. Prior to Passover a shipment of matzo arrived. The inspector refused to release the matzo because of the Star of David on the boxes. The Star of David had to be covered. My father painted each box in the shipment so that the Jews could receive them in time.

In conclusion, my father represented the embodiment of selflessness (with his very life), loyalty, love and respect for the Jewish people.
I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your service. May G-d bless you.


A family photo from Sudan

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hi everyone!

Yup, it's the height of hat season -- it's cold at night and requests are coming in from soldiers on all our borders.  Every hat you send is greatly appreciated, and the hats go out, and onto cold heads, very soon after they arrive. So please do keep 'em coming.

Here's an English article on the hats project that ran just last week. It's a translation (almost accurate) of an article that ran in Hebrew a few months ago. Please distribute to anyone who you think might be interested.

thanks, Channah
Activism: In past three years, Channah Koppel and her friends across the world have prepared thousands of wool hats distributed to Israeli soldiers

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the Telly

Here's a link to my interview on the Israeli radio/television show called "Kola shel Ima" (A Mother's Voice). I was a little unsure about doing a television interview in Hebrew, but decided it was for the good of the project and went ahead with it. And I have gotten some phone calls from interested knitters who saw me on the show, so I'm glad I did it.

It was Episode 31, which can be accessed through the window of episodes on the right side of the page. The interview was about 6 minutes long, from minutes 15:30 to 21:30 of the program.
Thanks for your support, everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back in the News

This item on the hats project appeared in Yediot Aharonot yesterday, June 12 [click on photo to enlarge]. Tomorrow, June 14, I'll be interviewed on Radio Kol Chai, sometime between 10 and 10:30 am. Stay tuned!

But most important, please keep those hats coming!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Love Sweet Love

Meet my Shlomo doll, sent to me as a gift by the lovely Lynda of Leeds.

Not only has Lynda organized a group to regularly knit hats for soldiers, which she mails to me monthly, she's also created this fabulous mascot for our cause...and I love it! Apparently the Shlomo doll gets to attend all kinds of fun events in England, like crafts fairs and Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel Independence Day) celebrations.

Now Lynda's started another charity knitting group at a local housing complex for seniors. She's a fabulous person with boundless energy, and I am so grateful for her dedication to this cause. Not to mention for the many, many hats she's sent this way -- and, of course, for the new official mascot of Hats for Israeli Soldiers.

In a general update, things are heating up on the southern border and of course hats are always welcome. There are about 2 months in the summer when we don't usually distribute the hats but please do keep making and sending them. If your hat arrives in August, it'll be given out for Rosh Hashanah, so no worries :-)

Thanks again everyone for all your efforts and I wish a wonderful Passover to those who celebrate it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let it Snow

Here's a lovely group of hat knitters in my home town, Montreal. They meet at the Beth Zion Synagogue and that's my mom in the middle, holding up 2 skeins of yarn. Knit on, ladies!

If you belong to a group that's knitting hats for soldiers and would like to see a photo of your group up on this blog, please send me an email at:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Some Soldiers & Some Knitters

Hi Knitters!

This past week, hats you made went out to soldiers in the Paratroopers, the Engineering Corps, and several elite units with names I don't even know how to translate into English (Palsar Nachal, anyone?)
I also got a very touching note from a lone soldier
who received, via A Package From Home, a care package which included one of our hats.

אני חייל שמצבו הכלכלי לא הכי טוב, וממש חימם את הלב לקבל מכם את הכובע הסרוג ושאר החפצים
. המון המון תודה לכם על המצווה האדירה שאתם עושים ועוזרים לאלפי חיילים ומראים את הצד היפה יותר של העם שלנו

rough translation:
I'm a soldier whose economic situation is not so good, and it really warmed my heart to receive the knitted hats and other items. Thank you so so much for the great mitzvah [good deed/positive commandment] you are doing, helping thousands of soldiers and showing the good side of our people.

Hats continue to come in from around the globe -- places like New Zealand, South Africa and England, to name a few. Special mention this week goes to Jenny from Alaska, knitting by oil lamp, and to Linda from Toronto, who knits along despite hand surgeries, and travels to Israel every summer to volunteer in the IDF's Sar-El Program. This picture of the two of us was taken this past summer in Jerusalem.

As always, thank you all,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Letter of the Week

I'm a Chayal Boded from NY in the IDF now. We started our service on December 15th and have been at Mikveh Alon base performing basic tironut and ulpan. We recently received some of your hats and are extremely grateful!

I never realized how chilly it got in Israel since I've only been here in the summer months before. The hat makes a huge difference and it also let's us know that people are thinking of us. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

With appreciation,
The Chayalim Bodedim of Mikveh Alon

P.S. Let everyone know that they can read about our experiences at the blog "The Lone Soldier".


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Need I say more?

Your hats are so appreciated now that the winter season has finally come to our part of the world. Keep up the good work, because even though we've reached the 14,000 mark, there are constant requests for more hats. Thank you all!