Looming for the IDF
Photos: Rachel Tucker
The women of the Congregation Nishmat Am Sisterhood, shown here with the hats they created, gathered at the synagogue on Jan. 28, 2024.

Congregation Nishmat Am Sisterhood knits hats for Israeli soldiers

By Rachel Tucker

Thanks to the Sisterhood at Congregation Nishmat Am, Israel Defense Forces soldiers have a piece of Texas with them as they continue to serve on the front lines.

The Sisterhood of the Plano congregation united after the war started last October to knit hats for Israeli soldiers. Since then, they’ve sent over 600 of various sizes and colors, for both men and women, to Israel.

Sisterhood member Alicia Kamien has been knitting for 15 years and can make a hat in about two hours using a loom. The group first met in her home, where she taught them how to make the hats, and the project took off from there.

“We would love the entire community to do something like this,” Kamien said. “It’s great not only to know that they are wearing something that we made, but that we are contributing and feel closer to them.”

The Sisterhood often meets at the synagogue to loom together, and they have a collection of hats that are contributed at Shabbat services.

Even if someone doesn’t know how to knit, the entire Sisterhood contributes in some way by providing snacks, yarn, scissors or looms. One of the members even created stickers that say ‘Nishmat Am Sisterhood Dallas, TX’ for the inside of each hat.

Sisterhood members Alicia Kamien, left, and Dani Baumann.

“We have people of all ages doing this together,” Kamien added. “It matters that we think about our people. When the soldiers put these hats on, they can say ‘I have a little bit of Dallas on me.’”

Nishmat Am President Gerri Patterson noted that these hats not only provide warmth to the soldiers, but also add a buffer between their heads and their helmets to make them more comfortable.

She hopes that they can continue this project even after the war ends.

“After we finish this project and the soldiers don’t need these hats anymore, it’s still a wonderful thing to be able to do and send them to shelters,” Patterson said. “This is relaxing and it’s easy to turn these hats out. It’s wonderful that we can have an impact on what’s going on in Israel.”

Noa Buaron teaches Sunday school at Nishmat Am and has family in Israel. All her cousins are currently serving in the IDF, so this project is especially meaningful for her.

“The second I heard about this, I knew I wanted to take part in it,” Buaron said. “Anything to help makes a difference.”

If you’re interested in donating hats or for more information, contact Nishmat Am at 972-618-2200.

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