I write this with the purest of hearts and from the depths of my soul. I write this with love and humility, and with prayers for all the innocent Jews and Palestinians suffering at the hand of evil and ignorance.
I’m having a flashback as I sit here on my couch writing this GoFundMe page. The last time I sat and wrote a GoFundMe was December 11, 2017, also sitting on my couch. It was the day that affected me the most in my life, the day I lost one of my best friends, my art assistant, in a tragic car accident in my car leaving my birthday party. It was a day that changed me forever. Now is a moment in time that is changing me, and I believe the Jewish nation as a whole, forever. Now is a time where I feel a grief as deep as the worst moment of my life.
I feel, and I believe many of us feel, abandoned. Abandoned by humanity. Abandoned by ethical and moral compass. Abandoned by lost souls who ignorantly advocate deep hatred and radical feelings about the most complex conflict in history, a subject they know nothing about. Abandoned by the ethics of journalism that have led to terror around the world. I sit awake at night, utterly and completely in shock. The hatred, antisemetism, and human experience I’ve had as a Jew and businesswoman since the war broke out has been one I never would have imagined.
I am the great grand-daughter of Rabbi Emanuel Rackman (google him) and the granddaughter of Honey Rackman, A”H. They were leaders, pioneers, philanthropists, and Gadols Hador. They were fearless. They stood up for what was right, regardless of the consequences and the backlash. Today, I am doing my best to trailblaze down the path I learned from my family. The one thing I am most confident about is that God put me on this earth to create art. To help people heal, to inspire people through my color, my vision, and my craft. Art is the best way I know how to speak. Brush strokes are my most eloquent words. And Israel is my heart.
For the first time ever, I am asking for the public’s help in commissioning artwork. I am looking to create a ‘Jewish Pride’ series, surrounding the loss we experienced and the healing we need as a nation following the attacks of October 7th, 2023. Never, as an artist, have I felt so strongly in my soul that I need to create a body of work surrounding current events – to document history, to advocate and spread awareness against antisemitism and terror, to heal, to inspire, and to fundraise. I created the first artwork in my series ‘Etz HaChayim Reborn’ because I needed to heal myself and help heal others, having faith it would speak to someone and that it would sell. Thankfully, it sold to the perfect home – a family in Israel that made Aliyah with 3 children currently serving in the IDF. I donated 20% to charity, and I am donating 20% from the sales of these prints in perpetuity to United Hatzalah and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Foundation - so far generating more than $5,000 in donations from the sale of this artwork. To date, since October 7th,
I would like to continue this ‘Jewish Pride’ series advocating against antisemitism and lifting the spirit of the Jewish people, while creating historical art that will one day be in museums, something that will have an impact far beyond my social media. However, I cannot do it alone and I am asking for your help. I am creating two large scale originals to donate to charity and to serve as public art. When I reach my funding goal, I will donate these original works to the lobby of a hospital or organization in Israel, or work with a Jewish museum as I believe these pieces need to be public art. I’m asking for your help in this initiative as I rowd-source the funds for these historic and important works of art, that will honor the lives of those lost, celebrate the Jewish people’s vast contributions to society, and document this human experience through art that will live on this planet for thousands of years to come.
This initiative extends WAY beyond creating public art and healing the human soul through art and inspiration. The focus of this initiative is to embark on a Chesed mission to Israel and to support Israeli businesses and charities along the way. Off the bat, 20% of funds will be directly donated back to charity - United Hatzalah and Leket. In regards to the Chesed mission - for 9 days, I will volunteer with soldiers and children who have been affected by the war, doing art therapy. Focusing on mental health will be the only way our nation can recover from the trauma we’ve experienced, and art has magical healing powers (I know from my own experience, as art saved my life.) Working with children who have experienced the worst traumas in life you can ever imagine I’m sure won’t be easy, but if ever there was an artist perfect for this job, it is me - I was literally BORN to do this. Additionally, I will be creating a number of products with my artworks as gifts for the children and soldiers: coloring books, kippot, and more. A number of brands have also agreed to donate gifts for the children. I will print stationary with my ‘Etz Hachayim’ artwork and Jewish children from the US community will write notes that I will deliver to the soldiers.
I am also making it a PRIORITY to support Israeli businesses as part of this initiative. I will purchase any supplies that I am unable to get sponsored from Israeli businesses. For example - the prints that I am donating - I will purchase those from a supplier in Israel. Any art supplies that don’t get sponsored, I will purchase from art supply shops in Israel. Etc, Etc.
Last but not least, I feel it is of UTMOST importance to document this entire initiative professionally in order to raise awareness for the Jewish people. To show the world what we do, how we act, how we give, and how we heal. As we know, the immense media bias and the wild wild west of social media have spread insane amounts of antisemitism and dangerous behaviors worldwide. The amount of propaganda and fake news is a true hazard to society, and it is something that should be feared most as a human being.
This is the most important thing I’ve ever wanted to do as an artist, and I truly appreciate your support in making it happen. This series is meant to help collectively heal and inspire K’lal Yisrael.
Inspiration Behind the Artworks:
‘The Wailing Wall, Never Again Is Now’
October 7th, 2023 marked the deadliest day for the Jews since the Holocaust. Over 1,400 babies, women, grandparents, and men were brutally raped, murdered, tortured, beheaded, and burned, 3,000+ wounded, an unfathomable 230 hostages taken to Gaza. The Wailing Wall is hearing more cries and pain than ever, yet here we are, needing to justify ourselves to the world as we defend ourselves against the most vicious and hostile terror attacks the world has ever seen. For the first time in my life, I am beginning to understand how the Holocaust came to be. Well, if you’ve heard the phrase ‘Never Again,’ NEVER AGAIN IS NOW. My mixed media painting and collage ‘Never Again is Now’ is a tribute to the Jewish spirit, and to those we lost on that tragic day. I am incorporating imagery of the lion of Judea, overlaying all the names of those who were murdered on October 7 to memorialize the lives of those who perished, by including each of their names, so that their legacies continue to live on for eternity through the arts. This artwork is meant to represent our strength, our unity, our mourning, yet our celebration, our pride, and our power. I chose to incorporate the Wailing Wall, the Israeli flag (with musical notes), and yahrzeit candles to create a comprehensive visual of what I believe many of us are feeling right now. A strong sense of Jewish and Israeli pride, prayers, coupled with a massive sense of grief and loss. I included musical notes within the flag, as I’ve found my most hopeful moments throughout this process have all been accompanied by music - from the soldiers dancing at their bases, to blasting Jewish music as I paint. Without Israel, we would have nowhere to go. NEVER AGAIN IS NOW, Am Yisrael Chai, and may the names of those killed live on in the memory of Am Yisrael forever.
‘Thank You, Jews’
The purpose of this artwork is to create a pictorial visual of the life changing contributions that Jews have made to the global community. My reasons are twofold - 1. To invoke a sense of pride to the Jews around the world who are feeling defeated, scared, and traumatized. Look at all we have created and built for society as a Jewish nation. The hundreds of millions of lives we’ve saved and the billions we’ve enhanced through our innovation. Remember, we survive and thrive through it all. That is who we are as a nation and a people. I have no doubt that after we rise from the ashes of this storm, the rainbow we will create afterwards will be the brightest we’ve seen. It will be an era of Jewish Renaissance (and this artwork will be a part of that Renaissance, as I feel more inspired as an artist than ever.)
Reason 2: As the uneducated world seeks to ‘throw us in the garbage’ and shouts ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ it is vital that these lost souls understand, in a very digestible manner, what they are actually saying. How they benefit from the many inventions Jews have brought to their lives. The medicines we’ve created that have saved the lives of their family members.The devices and technologies they use that they couldn’t fathom living without. Google, for God’s sake. Imagine living in this world today without Google! The world would suffer without the existence of the Jews. Incorporated into this artwork are the following inventions: penicillin, hepatitis B vaccine, plague vaccine, flexible stent, chemotherapy, aspirin, birth control, polio vaccine, defibrillators, pacemaker, the pressure bandage, Parkinson’s medications, valium, cholera vaccine; Barbie, Rummikub, Mastermind, the teddy bear, Mike&Ikes, cherry tomatoes, lipstick, jeans, Guess Who, ball point pens, Marvel, The Home Depot, Hollywood, Revlon, biological pest control, steel, Iron Dome, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Frued, Waze, Whatsapp, Facebook, Wix, Oracle, FaceID, video games, remote controls, the first mobile phone, the first microprocessor, flash drives, laser, firewall technology, drip irrigation. The list goes on and on, and I’d love to include more, so send over any ideas.
Advocating right now is not easy. It is emotionally taxing. I wake up to a barrage of really horrible messages. I occupy my time all day towards creating content, artwork, fundraising, and awareness towards what is happening. I have alienated some of my most important brand partners, most followers, deals, friends, and employees. And so for the first time in my career, I am asking for real, true communal support for my art so I can create an extremely important message for our community, as I cannot work on this project for months without economic support underlying it. I advocate that now more than ever, we need to empower the brands who remain fearless in pursuit of what is right via economic (and emotional) support.
I am inviting you to become part of a living legacy of keeping the souls we have lost alive through the arts. I am inviting you to be a part of Jewish history in documenting, through the arts, the entire Jewish experience that we, as a nation, are feeling right now. A lot of people are staying quiet because they are afraid. I am not going to be the one to stay quiet. Since launching this initiative I have had so many people reach out to volunteer and help me. It is amazing how as a community we have united to help one another with everything that is happening.
I am looking to raise $100,000 for this initiative (it will take months of my time.)
The funds will be used for the following:
• 20% donated directly to charity, totaling $20,000 to United Hatzalah: https://israelrescue.org/ and to Leket, Israel’s Food Bank, Feeding the People of the South
• Costs of volunteer chesed trip to Israel to work with IDF soldiers and children via art therapy
• Costs of art supply kits to enable art therapy projects
• Sustain the cost of prints of the artwork to be donated to public spaces in Israel to inspire and heal our hearts.
• Film-making and media outreach costs
• Sustain the costs of production of the artwork itself and support the ESC brand.
The first funds will be used towards direct charity donations (20% of whatever is raised,) followed by the costs of the chesed mission. The last funds will go to my brand. If I am not successful in raising all the funds, I will keep the originals and sell them to a private client but I really want to make these public artworks. Please help me make this happen.
Help me continue to be loud and proud in my fight against antisemitism, and in creating a historic body of work. Thank you for supporting, Am Yisrael Chai. and Tizku L’Mitzvot.