Jewish Girls Unite has launched our 2nd Shine Your Light Campaign: A Shabbat Candles Writing Contest. We are thrilled to join forces with the Shabbat Candle lighting Campaign of the Lubavitch Women’s Organization (LWO) under the direction of Mrs. Esther Sternberg, which was initiated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1974.

I had the honor to speak with Mrs. Esther Sternberg this week about our mission at Jewish Girls Unite to encourage and inspire our Jewish daughters around the world to add light to our world and our motto is “Shine Your Inner Light”. We came to the conclusion that our missions match perfectly and how wonderful it would be to work together to promote Shabbat candle lighting to Jewish girls around the world using the tools of modern technology.

Mrs. Sternberg shared her excitement about the two books that she published for the Rebbe that contained creative writing about Shabbat candles by Jewish girls from around the world. The first book published had illustrations by Michoel Muchnik and the second book called, “A Candle of My Own” had photographs of Jewish girls lighting candles. I was well aware of the second book since one of the pictures in the book was me at five years old gazing at a candle.

She explained to me how the second book came to be. She was a young mother and suddenly she wasn’t able to walk and was confined to a wheel chair. One day her husband came home with a message from the Rebbe, “Publish the second part of the book – even before Rosh Hashanah in the year 1979.” The answer came out at the end of the summer, leaving only five or six weeks until the High Holidays – not very much time to produce a book.

Mrs. Sternberg immediately called her friend who worked in Camp Emunah and asked her to put together a selection of writings from the girls on the subject of lighting Shabbos candles. And the book was published before Rosh Hashanah. And the Rebbe received the first copy of the book and responded with gratitude and satisfaction.

Mrs. Sternberg told me that over the years many remarkable stories have taken place with the books. And I knew what she was talking about, since I had my own personal story to tell her that occured 22 years after the book was published.

My story was printed in the L’chaim magazine in August 2001 and see the story below. The story was published following the first summer of our Bat Mitzvah Camp. In this article, you will see how we have come full circle as we launch our Shine Your Light Writing Campaign together with Mrs. Esther Sternberg of the LWO Candle Lighting Campaign. Together, with unity and greater strength, we will shine more light to every corner of the world.

Read the remarkable story Here

With blessings for peace,
Shabbat Shalom

Nechama Laber