Mitzvah Project: Pajama Day

Seventh-grader Elora Rosedale from Canton, Connecticut did not have to think hard about what to do for her Mitzvah Project.

Her Mom Aileen has been battling cancer and it was important to her to contribute to a cause that not only affects her Mother, but many others in her community.

Pictured left: Elora and her Mom Aileen

We spoke with Elora to learn more about her Mitzvah Project that brought healing to her community:


MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project?
I really wanted to help people out that have cancer because my Mom has been battling breast cancer for most of my life.

MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
ER: It means that I get to help out people that are less fortunate than others.

MM: Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
ER: In honor of my Mom who has been going through chemotherapy treatments and has battled breast cancer since February 2003, I organized some fund raising at Canton Middle School. For Pajama Day, kids could wear pajamas to school with a $2 donation and teachers could wear jeans or pajamas by contributing at least $5. I raised almost $1100! I also sent out an email to my friends and family and raised $1500. A group of women from our sisterhood formed a knitting group and are making chemo shawls that are being donated to the place where my Mom gets her chemotherapy treatments. We are also making 50 chemo companion bags that will be donated to the Partnership for Breast Care at Hartford Hospital to fund 30 bed jackets that are given to women who are newly diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We are also donating gift cards to the sisterhood knitting group because they are going to keep knitting even after my Bat Mitzvah.

On Pajama Day, from left, are Aime Freedenberg, Sam Cabeceiras, English teacher Sarah Foster, Emily Mitchell, Caitlyn Love, Meg Callahan, Maddie Brown and Maggie Coleman

MM: How are you getting the word out about Healing Prayer Shawls?
My English teacher, Sarah Foster helped me put together a video using my thoughts and personal story about why the effort was so important. The video uses images of a cross-section of society to show that the disease affects everyone.

Elora would like to keep the momentum going. Anyone interested in helping with raising funds or in knitting prayer shawls is welcome to contact Aileen at

We thank Elora and her Mom Aileen for sharing their story and Mitzvah Project with our readers.


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