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Thank You to all of you who have supported The Koby Mandell Foundation through your meaningful acts of kindness and by sharing your love with the kids at Camp Koby at the time of your Bar & Bat Mitzvahs!

Gavriel C., NJ, March 2006

Gavriel put together baskets of art supplies to use as centerpieces at his Bar Mitzvah, then put the supplies in duffel bags to send to the kids at Camp Koby.

“I was very Happy to be able to use my Bar Mitzvah party as a way to help victims of terror in Israel. I enjoy all aspects of drawing and art, and because if your son Koby z”l, I had the zechus to do a mitzvah by donating these art supplies to your foundation. We knew of other worthy organizations here in the US, but I wanted to send these items to Israel specifically to help children heal. Because of your foundation, even people and children who never met Koby, feel a connection to him and because of him so many are helped.

My brother will be im”h learning in Israel next year and I hope to visit your foundation when we visit him next year.
Sincerely, Gavriel C.”

Hannah T., December 2005

“I am 12 years old & my Bat Mitzvah is January 15, 2005. I just recently learned of your organization and was very touched by how you are turning your personal tragedy into a positive experience for others... I would like to support your efforts by making people aware of your foundation and all the good it does. I can do this by purchasing the Blue [STAND STRONG 4 ISRAEL] Bracelets... In addition, I will talk about Koby & Yosef during my service. I would like to have a bunch of pamphlets & materials so that I can distribute & display them that morning... It is my hope that others will have the opportunity to learn about and support your foundation. I also plan on presenting this to my Hebrew School classmates. I am so sorry that your family as well as yoseff’s family & all the others, have to suffer these losses. I am proud of the how you are showing & teaching us a better way to respond other than violence.
Sincerely, Hannah T.”

Troy F., FL, April 2005

“When I was preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, the Cantor and I were discussing Jewish things of interest to me. I told her one of the most meaningful experiences to me has been my years as a camper at a Jewish camp, Camp Coleman, in north Georgia. She had some information to share with me about camp Koby and I began to read about what happened to Koby due to terrorism in Israel. It is so sad that people cannot get along and that innocent people get killed. What you have done by starting a camp in Koby’s honor is an awesome thing. I decided I wanted to make a contribution from my Bar Mitzvah to Camp Koby for hats for many of the campers that attend your camp. I spoke of Koby in my Bar Mitzvah speech so he will always be a part of me, even though I did not know him. I hope that some day I will be able to visit Israel and come to the camp that you all started in Koby’s honor.
Sincerely, Troy F.”

Miriam K., MD, December 2005

Miriam gave out blue “STAND STRONG 4 ISRAEL” bracelets, had a display of information, and talked about the KMF in her speech. Below is an excerpt from the speech:
“One of the reasons I chose to highlight the Koby Mandel Foundation is because the Foundation represents the implementation of this ideal [helping others]. Despite their painful experience, the Mandel’s found the strength within themselves to help others who were also affected by terrorism. That is the kind of person that I would like to be.I would like to thank the people at the Koby Mandel Foundation for helping me with this project.”

Keera F.,Toronto, Canada, May 2005

“My name is Keera. I had my Bat Mitzvah on May 7th, 2005 in Toronto, Canada. This past winter my family and I went to Israel. I felt a special bond with Israel. I decided to read about different charities in Israel, and I found your website very interesting. I felt as part of my Bat Mitzvah I wanted to do something special. I chose to give a portion of my Bat Mitzvah money to your foundation. I agree with your philosophy to help people struck by terror return to life with strength, determination, and hope. I hope that this donation will benefit the people of all ages who attend your camp. Good Luck!”

Yoel G., Canada

“Last Pesach in Israel you really demonstrated your maturity and thoughtfulness. Yoel listened to a talk given by Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell. They established the Koby Mandell Foundation in memory of their beloved son, Koby, who was abducted and murdered by terrorists in 2001, at the young age of thirteen. Their flagship program is Camp Koby, a summer camp for children who have lost an immediate family member to terrorism in Israel. It aims to help the survivors of terrorism to cope, heal and grow. Yoel decided at that time to share the celebration of his Bar Mitzvah by giving to others. He decided to contribute a portion of his Bar Mitzvah gifts to this meaningful cause. Gershon G. (Yoel’s father)”

Neil H., Canada, 2003

“When I was thirteen years old and studying for my Bar Mitzvah, I looked for a project to donate to with the money that I would receive. I had trouble finding a cause, as there are so many needy people in the world. I had trouble, that is, until my father came home one night and told me about an article he had seen in The Toronto Star. In the article it gave some brief information about the Koby Mandell Foundation’s Camp Koby. I could not have found a more worthy and a more appropriate cause. I wanted to help children who were not blessed with some of the privileges that I have received. I contacted the Director of the camp to determine what they could use to help support these kids. I requested that the money be earmarked for sports equipment for the camp. I then asked a large group of family and friends, who would be attending my Bar Mitzvah, if they would donate to this exemplary organization.

At the time of my Bar Mitzvah, in the year 2003, the situation in Israel was much more tragic than it is now. My cousin, who lives near Tel-Aviv, was afraid to turn on the television, for fear of the carnage he may see. A cousin of a friend of mine, who also lives near Tel-Aviv, is eight years old. He has a phobia of rain, because he is afraid of thunder. He can’t handle this sound because it so slightly resembles that of an explosion. This child has missed numerous days of school because of emotional problems. He is currently seeing a psychologist for help.

These are just two examples of children that have not been directly involved in attacks of terror, yet still are greatly affected, and traumatized by them. Neither has been present at an attack, nor have any members of either of their families. If these two, and countless others, have been so influenced, I cannot fathom how insurmountable it must be for those whose families have been directly affected by acts of terror.

The circumstances are a little different in Israel now, than they were two years ago. However, despite the improvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the emotional pain of the kids at Camp Koby endures. This easing of terrorism does not ease their pain. Hopefully, there will not be any more children who need the services of this wonderful organization. However, we all know that this is unrealistic. We all know that there is no quick-fix. Thusly, Camp Koby will continue to be invaluable, and their need for our continued support is as strong as ever.

Raphael K., Canada

“Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts. The Torah teaches us that it is incumbent upon us to give 10% of our income to tzedakah. I decided to use this for the Koby Mandell Foundation because the pain of world Jewry is a shared pain, and a boy my age whose life was so brutally cut short is a lesson that touches me. I urge all Bar-Bat Mitzvah families to consider this very special organization that is attempting to help heal the physical and emotional wounds of these traumatized kids. It is an honour to be a part of this. “

Jake K., Canada, January 2006

“My name is Jake and I recently celebrated my bar mitzvah on January 21, 2006. As part of my bar mitzvah program my parents told me that I would give some of my gift money to a charity of my choice. There was no lack of organizations to choose from; however upon learning about the Koby Mandell Foundation through my school and my father, I immediately chose this cause to donate some money to. The late Koby Mandell and I are very similar to each other. I learned that Koby was a strong student with a good memory for facts and general knowledge. He was a strong athlete and a bit of an adventurous and mischievous kid. I too am a successful student, love baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer and just about any other sport that you can name. Both at home and school, I sometimes test the limits and even get into some trouble at times. The late Koby and I are curious and enjoy excitement and thrill. Perhaps that is why we both love sports and adventure. It is most unfortunate that Koby’s love of nature and adventure (though innocent) lead to his tragic death. Koby’s senseless death could be mine or any other boy who recently celebrated a bar mitzvah. Koby wrote about the importance of letting kids discover and be independent. Those are important opportunities in order that kids can develop into responsible young adults. Kids learn to make good choices through their experience and practice. Hopefully, the kids of today will help to create a better and safer world so that tragedies such as Koby Mandell’s will not continue to happen. I feel very sad for Koby’s family but know that their efforts to heal those affected by terrorism in Israel is a way of continuing the memory of their beloved son and brother. I wish the Mandell family all the best of luck in their work to help support victims of terrorism and their families.”

Zachary R., Canada

“I want to tell you why I decided to donate money from my Bar Mitzvah to send children to Camp Koby. First of all, at my school, Associated Hebrew School, we are doing fundraisers to send children to Camp Koby. We plan to try to send at least 18 children to camp. We have sold cupcakes and we will be selling many others things until we reach our goal. Second of all, I feel that kids who have been victims of terror, or who have family members that have been victims of terror, should have a place to go where people understand their issue. If they don't have anywhere to go, I'm sure that they would feel very pressured or stressed. I know how much fun camp can be, and I want other kids to have that kind of experience. I wish you luck in raising funds for this cause and I am glad that I could be a part of it.”

Cydney R., Canada

“Two years ago Rabbi Seth Mandell visited my school and spoke about the tragic loss of his son Koby, and Koby’s friend Yosef Ishran, by terrorists near his home in Israel. Rabbi Mandell talked about how he and his wife Sherri transformed their own personal suffering into helping others by establishing the programs at the Koby Mandell Foundation was immediately drawn and connected to both Koby & the foundation that was created to keep his memory alive - especially Camp Koby. Because acts of kindness and tzedekah play a big role in my life, I knew that I had to help out in some way so I decided to donate a portion of my Bat Mitzvah gifts to help Camp Koby. While celebrating my Bat Mitzvah this past summer in Israel, I constantly thought about Koby, Yosef and the many other victims that have been affected by terror. I hope and pray that the time will soon come when the world will be filled with love & peace.”

Benji S., Canada

“Becoming a Bar Mitzvah was very important to me because it meant becoming part of the Jewish community. As part of the community I know that I have an obligation to perform acts of Tikun Olum and Tzedakah. I wanted to make a donation to a charity that involved youth and had a connection to Israel. My older sister had heard about Koby Mandell and the foundation that was started after his death and she told me about it. After researching the Koby Mandell Foundation, I decided that this charity met my goal for my Tzedakah needs. I wish them continued success in their future work and I hope that there will come a time very soon where the Koby Mandell Foundation will be able to change their focus away from terrorism to other areas.”

Ariel S., Canada

“I decided, immediately after my Bar-Mitzvah, to make a donation to the Koby Mandell Foundation. I first found out about this foundation after buying a memorial bracelet from a friend. On this bracelet was the name, Koby Mandell. Immediately I went onto the internet to research more. I found out who he was, and the story and events that happened to him. I felt terrible, especially since we were similar in age. I researched more about the Koby Mandell Foundation and decided that this would be a great place to contribute some of my bar mitzvah money to help families who have been victims of terror.”

Ethan S., Canada

“I would like to donate to the Koby Mandell Foundation because it shows that we will not stand for the violence and we will help all those affected by it! I also want to donate to the Foundation because it shows that I am a proud Jew who supports Israel and the Israeli people. I would like to donate to the Koby Mandell Foundation, also, because I’m a kid like Koby and all the kids that are being sent to this camp. I know how fortunate I am to have both my parents and brothers still alive. Camp is an awesome experience that kids should not miss out on because of some problems. I also want to donate to this Foundation because sending children to Camp Koby is a very good mitzvah.”

Noah S., Canada

“I’m donating to the Koby Mandell Foundation because I want to help send children to Camp Koby. For me, camp is one of my favourite parts of the year. I have made most of my friends there. Friends are always there for you to turn to, and at Camp Koby, these children will make friends, have a great time and relate to other children who are in similar situations. This camp will help the kids express how they feel and hopefully, the children will start to return to their normal lives.”

Eli V., Canada

“While looking at the different organizations to which I could donate in honour of my Bar Mitzvah, the Koby Mandell Foundation immediately caught my eye. When I read about Koby Mandell I knew that I wanted to support this cause. The fact that Koby was only thirteen when he was killed really affected me seeing as I am also thirteen. I am grateful that I have never had to deal with terrorism personally and G-d willing, I never will. At the same time, I knew that I wanted to help others less fortunate than myself. The Koby Mandell Foundation gives children who have lost a family member or a close friend via terrorism a chance to enjoy themselves at camp with others who have experienced the same horrors. As well, it helps adults who have been affected by terrorism cope with their loss and suffering. I am very saddened when I hear about the victims of terrorism. If we could stop terrorism completely, it would be incredible, but so far, we cannot. I am happy to know that at least there is an organization whose aim is to help the family and friends of victims of terrorism cope with their grief. I find it very admirable that Rabbi and Mrs. Mandell would start such an organization for these children in memory of their son Koby and I am very glad to be able to help.”

Josh W., Canada

“For one of my tzedakah projects, in honour of my Bar Mitzvah, I requested that instead of gifts, my friends honour me with donations to the Koby Mandell Fund. Koby Mandell was a 13-year-old boy who was killed by terrorists while hiking near his home in Tekoa,Israel. After Koby's death, his parents Seth and Sherri Mandell established the Koby Mandell Foundation to carry on their son's name and to help other survivors of terrorism to cope, heal and grow. The Koby Mandell Foundation's programs are geared towards helping the family members of the victims of terror cope with their grief. I realize how fortunate I am to be living with my family in Canada. I felt that in the tradition of tzedakah it was important to support this cause. I also picked this cause as Koby was a 13 year old boy, just as I am 13, he was athletic and adventuresome which are some of my characteristics and it was particularly meaningful to support a cause where I could identify with the person who this charity was founded upon.”

 

 
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