From the Washington Jewish Week, November 22, 2012
Thirteen-year old Mory Gould of Potomac celebrated his bar mitzvah on Oct. 27 at Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah in Potomac. For his mitzvah project, Gould is working with Operation Embrace, a nonprofit that assists injured survivors of terrorism in Israel to raise awareness of Israeli terrorism victims. To symbolize the number of rockets fired into Israel since 2001, Gould is collecting 12,000 rubber bands and making a giant chain out of them. When Gould met with Operation Embrace founder Aviva Tessler, rebbetzin of his synagogue, to discuss his project, his goal of collecting 12,000 rubber bands, one rubber band for each rocket fired into Israel since 2001, had to be changed due to the barrage of rocket fire still going on at press time. That number is now close to 13,000. Instead of gifts, Mory asked his bar mitzvah guests to contribute rubber bands or donate to Operation Embrace. He has collection bins at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, where he is an eighth grade student; Beth Sholom; and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington.
So far, Mory, with the help of friends, has a chain of 4,500 rubber bands which was displayed at Beth Sholom during his bar mitzvah, and he is committed to reaching his goal of at least 12,000 rubber bands.
How did the rubber band project originate? I was thinking about different ways that I could help the community or Israel. At the same time there was a lot of news about more rocket attacks in Israel. I looked online and read that more than 12,000 rockets have hit Israel since 2001. Then I thought of the movie Paper Clips [in which 6 million paper clips representing the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis were collected and how powerful it was. So I began to think about how I could do something similar. I came up with collecting rubber bands to make a chain because it symbolized banding our love together and stretching our hearts to Israel.
Why is this rubber band project important? It’s important because I don’t think that people realize how many rockets have been fired at Israel and how hard it is for the people in Israel, especially now.
Are there plans for the rubber bands once the project is complete? I don’t have plans right now, but I’m hoping to be to able donate it, perhaps to the Israeli Embassy.
What do you think is the most valuable lesson learned from this project? I’ve learned that you can take something very simple like rubber bands and hopefully send a powerful message. I just hope people will listen.
What’s the best advice you have ever received? Persevere and keep on going and never give up. You can reach your goals if you work hard, and that one person can make a big difference in the world.
You can also read more about Mory and his rubber band project on page 6 of: Promoting Awareness