"Art is not only a form of personal expression, but also a force to help repair the world, a timeless Jewish tradition," according to Jennifer Goldberg, a rising senior at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy.
Translating belief into action, Jennifer recently launched "Because I Care," a greeting-card business whose proceeds will be donated to area charities and nonprofit organizations, including the Jewish Relief Agency and the Mitzvah Pantry. To date, Jennifer has raised more than $2,000 to donate to these agencies that provide food and support for those in need.
"Ever since I can remember, my family has made volunteering and helping others an important part of our lives. Now, I have the opportunity to carry on this tradition through my art," says Jennifer. "I also believe I am carrying on the values of my grandmother, a Holocaust survivor. She had artistic talents that she never was able to realize. She taught me how to draw when I was a little girl, and her spirit lives on in me."
Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, Jennifer has designed a set of New Year cards featuring three symbols of the holiday.
The first design features apples and honey, symbolizing a sweet year to come; the second depicts a dove and pomegranate, signifying peace and the seeds of new beginnings; and the third pictures musical notes and a ram's horn, or shofar, that is blown on Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement — which concludes the 10-day holiday.
Three of each of the designs are packaged in a set totaling nine greeting cards that are priced at $18 per package. The cards are being carried in the gift shop of Main Line Reform Temple, Beth Elohim in Wynnewood, where Jennifer and her family are congregants, and have been bought by faculty members of the Barrack Hebrew Academy, among others.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has also bought the rights to the designs to use as their New Year greeting this year.
A gifted artist who likes to work in pastels and water color, Jennifer also enjoys sculpting and weaving. She is an art major at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy and attributes the encouragement of her art teacher, Laura Lyn Stern, for inspiring her to take her art and talent seriously.
"I have designed a card to benefit a Habitat for Humanity chapter in South Carolina" explains Jennifer.
She also is designing greeting cards for the November and December holiday season, and will continue to contribute proceeds from her cards to worthy organizations.
To order Rosh Hashanah cards and learn more about "Because I Care," e-mail Jennifer at email@example.com.
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, formerly Akiba, provides a dynamic dual curriculum to coeducational students in grades six to 12. Located in Merion Station, the school welcomes students from every spectrum of Jewish observance and life. For more information, call Vivian Young, director of recruitment and admissions at 610-667-4070, Ext. 144, or firstname.lastname@example.org.