July 19, 2024
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Headband Creation Becomes Bat Mitzvah Project

Sixth-grader Kayla Distenfeld of Teaneck used her knack for weaving and love of chesed to develop the perfect bat mitzvah project, “Helping hands with rubber bands.”

Kayla first discovered her love for weaving after she got a loom for her birthday a number of years ago. Though she was having trouble weaving with yarn, she figured out how to do so with rubber bands. Right after school let out last summer, Kayla began creating rubber headbands, which both she and her mother found a great demand for.

Kayla has raised $900 so far and is already halfway to her goal; 100 percent of her proceeds go to fulfilling a special wish for a child through Chai Lifeline. She chose that organization because she learned a lot about their chesed through her school, Yavneh Academy in Paramus.

“I love what they do,” Kayla said.

A creative hobby soon became a learning experience for Kayla. After picking Chai Lifeline’s Dare to Dream tzedakah project, Kayla set to work cranking out headbands for $10 each.

“When she’s not doing her homework or eating,” Kayla’s mother said, “she’s ‘looming.’”

Kayla “looms” patterned headbands and solid colors. She chose headbands because she knew they would stand out, unlike the more common loom rubber-bracelet fad that had faded out months ago amongst her peers. She designs school colors and even takes custom orders. All sorts of people are buying for themselves or for their friends, sisters and daughters—all are happy to give tzedakah for the cause.

Kayla’s success has spread farther than the local area. According to her mother, even relatives from California and Seattle couldn’t wait to get their hands on a headband.

Different stores have helped advertise for Kayla as well. Alene Bloom Brodsky, owner of Carly’z Craze in Teaneck, has displayed her headbands in her store window. While she might not sell so much in one day at Carly’z Craze, Kayla was surprised with her success when she tabled at the Sinai Boutique on a recent Sunday at Temple Emeth. She sold over 20 headbands. Her success there has boosted her confidence, and she is determined she can reach her goal of $1,800 by the end of September, just in time for her bat mitzvah.

“I’m always very eager to help people,” Kayla said of her excitement over her project. “I can’t wait to continue.”

For special orders, email [email protected], or private message Rachel Kayla through Facebook.

By Elizabeth Zakaim

 Elizabeth Zakaim is a rising junior journalism and psychology double major at The College of New Jersey. She is also a summer intern at The Jewish Link. Feel free to email her at [email protected] with any questions or comments.

 

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