After hearing that Jewish cemeteries were being vandalized, 6-year-old Ayel Morgenstern knew she wanted to find a way to help.
About a month ago, Ayel’s mother, Lauren Pearl Morgenstern, saw in the news that people were damaging tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Morgenstern, who is from St. Louis and now lives in Florida, discovered that one of the damaged tombstones belonged to her great-great-grandmother. Ayel learned about the damage and decided to fight back against the vandals in a creative way.
Knowing that it is a Jewish tradition to leave stones on graves, Ayel began painting rocks to send to the families affected by the crimes in the cemeteries. Her mom bought bags of rock and always has paint in the house because her daughter loves art. Ayel usually gives the rocks two coats of paint then decorates with designs like flowers and ladybugs.
“The ladybugs are for good luck, and the hearts are for a little more love,” Morgenstern told The Huffington Post.
Morgenstern said her daughter has painted “hundreds of rocks” and has sent them to St. Louis, Philadelphia and Rochester, New York, which are all places where Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized. Each package includes a note emphasizing Ayel’s mission of spreading kindness.
In March, the organization Stand With Us shared a video that shows Ayel explaining why she’s painting rocks. In about a month, it had been viewed more than 128,000 times.