May 29, 2024
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May 29, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Recently I was the recipient of a beautiful bouquet of flowers together with a few other items. At my door stood a lady delivering an unexpected treat with a letter explaining that “Give Sunshine” was a bat mitzvah project undertaken by her daughter Gavriella Sandler, a seventh grader at RYNJ. The project was activated by Gavriella as a way to cheer people up. Together with the package was a beautiful personal note that Gavriella wrote expressing her sorrow for my loss and her intention of trying to make my day slightly brighter. Indeed she did. Apparently Gavriella had personally arrived at my doorstep the night before but because I was not at home she appointed her mother to be her shaliach in doing the mitzvah.

I can tell you that Gavriella is no ordinary young lady. You must watch her at https://vimeo.com/548437793/72dae590a2. She will explain exactly what she is doing.

Gavriella, who is now 13, began her idea prior to her bat mitzvah, which was supposed to take place in December 2020. She was born on Chanukah but due to COVID her party was delayed several months. It makes sense to me that there is no coincidence that the lights of Chanukah emanate as well from the shining personality of Gavriella. All that you have to do is see the video presentation which explains who she is and her dream of sharing sunshine.

Gavriella’s parents believe strongly that a celebration such as a simcha needs to be accompanied by a chesed project. Despite the craziness of the times that we were all living through, she was not deterred from beginning her project. It was almost easier as there were so many people who needed to be uplifted due to the many quarantined and sick members of the community. Although Gavriella’s bat mitzvah party was delayed, it did finally take place in a tent after several months.

At present Gavriella has distributed more packages than she can count. She has become a frequent visitor to the post office as she not only brings sunshine to the local community, but has also sent her goodies to faraway places. Each package is thoughtfully prepared, and none are the same. If she hears of someone, adult or child, who could use some cheering up she is on it.

Upon hearing of young children being affected by a trauma either themselves or in their family she carefully puts together several items that she feels would be appropriate for them. She mentioned that there was a time when she and her family were going through a difficult time and how much they appreciated and benefitted from the warmth and outpouring of kindness shown to them. She is now proud to be able to be the donor to many.

She gets her ideas of who could use a boost by reading The Jewish Link, or hearing about someone who could use the tefillot of the community. Her eyes and ears are always anxious to help her get an idea. She reads Instagram stories and through word of mouth she is made more and more aware of who could benefit from her chesed. She acknowledges that even happy people could use an extra ounce of enthusiasm every one and a while, and she is fine with that as well.

She welcomes ideas and suggestions and through her [email protected], she is easily reachable. Kol Hakavod to Gavriella and her wonderful family. She definitely brought sunshine into my life!


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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