Handmade stars hang in Pittsburgh


(JTA) – More than 2,000 handmade Stars of David were hung throughout Pittsburgh.

The stars, created by more than 1,000 volunteers from around the world, were hung on Nov. 16 by 40 volunteers. Each star – some crocheted, some knitted, some made with leather – all had a heart in the center.

The stars were the brainchild of Hinda Mandell and Ellen Dominus Broude, who created the Facebook page Jewish Hearts from Pittsburgh in response to the attack at Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood that left 11 worshippers dead.

The page called for donations of handcrafted stars to help strengthen the community in the wake of the tragedy.

On Oct. 28, Mandell, on her own Facebook page, provided patterns for knitters, suggested sizes and colors and deadlines of what she calls “Jewish Hearts.” On Oct. 30 she and Broude set up the Jewish Hearts from Pittsburgh page on Facebook.

The women, both from New York, opened a post office box to receive the stars. Stars arrived from 12 countries, including New Zealand and Qatar, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Stars were sent by Catholic school children from Little Rock, Arkansas, students from a Hebrew school in London, residents of Parkland Florida, a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado and a Quaker woman from Pueblo, Colorado, according to the newspaper.

“Three weeks ago, I met Ellen Dominus Broude online and we created Jewish Hearts for Pittsburgh. Today, with a team of volunteers, they are installing 2,000 hearts around Pittsburgh. More than 1,000 volunteers from Qatar to California poured their love into their crafted, collaged, painted and crocheted Jewish Hearts. Ellen spent the past week ‘bagging and tagging’ these creations, and archiving the notes that arrived in the mail,” Mandell wrote in a post on her personal Facebook page.

The group reportedly will accept more stars and hang them after Thanksgiving.