Tzedakah is a fundamental part of Jewish life and giving of one’s time and talent certainly adds to the benevolence. The Peach State Stitchers have been making meaningful quilts for Jewish Organizations almost for the entire existence of the chapter.
In 2009 we met once again to decide where to donate the next quilt (wall hanging) we would make. It was suggested we discuss the possibility of donating to a cause that was not Jewish; after all we are part of a community and we share so many positive qualities with other peoples. It was Barbara Flexner who said she had recently read of a new museum in the planning called the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This museum, housed in Atlanta, would have two areas, one to display the Civil Rights movement from the mid-1920s to the present and the other for world countries who have faced and are currently facing human rights issues. We loved the idea…and so did the Executive Director. A contract was signed between the PSS Chapter and the NCCHR.
Two of our member artists, Flora Rosefsky and Anne Mandel, met several times to work on a proposed rendering and we presented our idea to the NCCHR. We would sew a 5 foot square wall hanging depicting hope and freedom around the world. A committee of four was formed; Jackie Granath, chair, Flora Rosefsky, Anne Mandel and Judy Sternberg. Fifteen members of the PSS chapter volunteered to take part in the selection of fabric, piecing and sewing of our project. For those of us involved it was a labor of love.
It took 3 ½years and lots of “nudging” to pass the sewing from one person to another. We wore white gloves to work on the quilt and met frequently to discuss next steps. Our quilt would have both hand embroidery and machine embroidery. Our artists planned for a minimum of 12 quotes from famous people of all walks of life. Harriet Zoller researched the quotes and got approval from the museum. Bobbi Gross, a hand embroiderer did the center quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe In The Beauty Of Their Dreams.” Linda Stein machine embroidered the remaining quotes.
International fabrics were gathered from 45 countries and sewed together by Rina Wolfe. The hands of hope were sewn by Ivah Kukler, background by Rina, Arlene Poretsky and Lynn Slomsky. The design began to evolve and final touches were decided by Flora and Anne. Judy Sternberg, Cathy Korotkin, Luci Sunshine, Vilma Arenson and Jackie Granath all put loving stitches in the quilt. Pamela Rishfeld sewed the back of the quilt.
A beautiful Bird of Peace was beaded by Barbara Rucket.
The museum is on the campus of the Coca Cola pavilion and the Atlanta Aquarium.
It was decided to have it professionally quilted. Regina Carter, a local quilter, used many different design stitches to highlight the various areas on the quilt which brought it to life.
We presented our quilt in May, 2013, two months after the NCCHR broke ground. It was accepted with much fanfare. A true feeling of Tzedakah was felt by our chapter.