Around Thanksgiving, when his friends were putting up their Christmas decorations, Jack Kulbersh, age 6, wanted to join in and hang his own holiday lights.
Jack’s father, Adam Kulbersh, wasn’t so sure. The Kulbersh family holiday decorations usually include a lighted menorah in the window. But the news lately was grim: A Jewish pre-school vandalized; a cemetery desecrated.
“There’s armed guards everywhere,” said Kulbersh, a Los Angeles resident, originally from Dunwoody. “The news right now is covered with antisemitic violence.” He told Jack maybe they better not put up a menorah this year and make themselves a target. “My gut reaction was to close the curtains.”
He told his worries to one of his best friends, Jennifer Marshall, who lives in South Tampa, Florida.
“When he told me that, it made me sad, “ said Marshall.
Marshall, who was raised Catholic, went out and bought a lighted menora and put it in her window. She sent a photo of it to Kulbersh and posted it on her social media sites.
This immediately cheered up Kulbersh.
“I don’t think I realized what a weight was on my chest for the past few months,” he said. “This act of kindness from a friend so lifted my spirits that I felt like I had to do something about it.” In the meantime, Marshall received a flood of appreciative comments on Facebook and Instagram.
That gesture prompted Kulbersh, and his sister, Valerie Kulbersh, of Decatur, to dream up Project Menorah. He told her “I want to do something for people like us who are scared and people like Jennifer who want to help.”
Due to the violence overseas and antisemitism at home, many Jews feel embattled. Non-Jews want a way to comfort their friends. Project Menorah was an answer. Kulbersh quickly created a website where allies could download a pattern for a menorah, print it out, color it in, and put it in a window.
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