She might be only eleven years old, but Shaina Agami from Margate, Florida is starting her Mitzvah Project well in advance. She wants to make sure that people will always remember her brother Danny, a 25-year-old who was killed in Iraq.
Shaina’s brother Spc. Daniel J. Agami had enlisted in the U.S. Army after the Sept. 11 attacks because, his father Itzhak Agami said, “he felt a responsibility for his country.”
A frequent guest of international news shows, he infused wit and humor into the drudgery of military life, even coining a name for his camouflaged skullcap; he combined the Hebrew term kippah and combat to come up with the new word, Kombaticah.
His sister Shaina decided to sell those same skullcaps, now emblazoned with his name and rank, to benefit the Aleph Institute, a Chabad-Lubavitch program that caters to the spiritual needs of Jewish military personnel and their families. So far, she has raised $1,500. Each skullcap sells for a minimum donation of $5 and comes with a photo of Daniel and a copy of the “Prayer for the Safety of the American Military Forces” in Hebrew and English.
We spoke to Shaina about her very special Mitzvah Project and here’s what she said in her own words:
MM: Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
SA: I created a big “exhibit board” that I take with me when I set up a table to ask for donations. I display the kombaticahs and other information about the Aleph Institute.
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project/charity?
SA: Because when my brother came home from the Army for Passover in 2007 he wore a military Kippah. He dubbed it “The Kombaticah.” So my mom was thinking that we should sell them as a Bat Mitzvah project and I thought it would be a good idea to raise money for The Aleph Institute. I want to help keep my brother’s memory alive and for people to remember his heroism and what he gave for his country.
MM:Does your project have a start or end date?:
SA: I started in August 2010, and will continue until I reach my goal of $5000.00 or more!
MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
SA: Well I think what I’m doing for my Bat Mitzvah Project will help the U.S. Jewish military men and women serving our nation around the world.
MM: If it involves a donation, what are you doing to spread the word?
SA: Well people who are buying them tell other people and the word spreads. I have also been interviewed by newspapers, Chabad.org, Channel 7 news.
MM: For how long can people donate to this charity?
HB: Aleph Institute just added a shopping cart to their website, so this may continue even after my Bat Mitzvah. They can donate any time.
To donate and receive your Kombaticah yarmulke please click here.