Thursday, December 15, 2016


The rumors are true! 

A whole crew of volunteers heading back to Muhuru Bay, Kenya to the Women's Institute for Secondary Education and Research - WISER.  As a result, I am reviving the blog and getting reading to send updates along my journey.

I would like to dedicate this trip to my daughter, who for her bat mitzvah, raised money for WISER. My son also raised money for WISER for his bar mitzvah almost three years ago demonstrating the importance gender advocates in boys.

Here is an excerpt from my daughter's bat mitzvah speech from October:

"It was a 95-degree day and I sent a Snapchat out to my friends to help me wash cars to raise money for my mitzvah project:  WISER – the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research – a school for girls in Muhuru Bay, Kenya on Lake Victoria.

A few of us have celebrated our 13th birthdays already. Some are still 12. As I looked around at my friends washing cars, flagging down more customers and mostly spraying each other with hoses, I thought about what girls our age are doing in Muhuru Bay. How these girls aren't safe to play and have fun like us, they aren’t guaranteed the education that I take for granted, they don’t get three meals a day while on the other hand my friends and I ordered a pizza with our only concern being who gets what toppings.

The best bet for a girl my age in Muhuru Bay is an education. That day in front of my dad’s house, thanks to the generosity of many in this room and some innocent civilians whose cars we attacked, my friends and I raised more than $500. To make it even better, my dad’s company, Johnson & Johnson is going to match it to make it $1000. Not bad for 2.5 hours’ work. Compare that to a girl in Muhuru Bay.  She can gather firewood and make $3 to feed her family for a week.  The money we raised is enough to buy books for 50 girls for a year. Books lead to knowledge, knowledge is power, and power is what will bring about change. It will give these girls a chance. It will help them become what they dream of.  At the very least, it could save a girl my age from being married in exchange for two cows.

I picked this for my mitzvah project so my friends and I could send a message of hope to the girls our age in Kenya. We know you’re out there working hard and we are with you. I hope they can have as much fun when they are together at WISER as we did that day washing cars. This prayer goes out from the 13 year old girls in Yardley, Pennsylvania to the 13 year old girls in Muhuru Bay. We believe in you."