Real Role Model: Karin Videlefsky 

In honor of her Bat Mitzvah, Karin Videlefsky from Atlanta, Georgia is organizing a year-long mitzvah project. One of the mitzvahs she is doing is selling copies of the Holocaust Survivor Cookbook to raise money for the Carmei Ha’ir Soup Kitchen in Israel. After hearing Joanne Caras, the cookbook’s author, speak in her community, Karin was inspired to get involved in the ‘world mitzvah project’.

The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook is a three-part project: it raises money for a soup kitchen in Israel, it raises money for Jewish organizations, and it preserves the memories and stories of Holocaust survivors.

“I am not just selling these cookbooks to raise money,” said Karin, “but also because they tell amazing stories that need to be passed down. I think it is very important to remember these stories, because soon there won’t be any more survivors to tell their stories. People need to remember how the Jewish people suffered, but they never gave up.”

Selling the cookbooks turned into another mitzvah project: When her family visited Israel, Karin volunteered at the Carmei Ha’ir Soup Kitchen and helped serve free meals with dignity to needy Israelis. Karin was able to see first hand how the soup kitchen helps hundreds of people each day.

Karin’s project extended even further, when she decided to explore Holocaust stories in her own family. She interviewed two family members who who survived the Holocaust, and submitted their stories, photos, and recipes for the new edition of the Holocaust Survivor Cookbook.

The idea spread, and through Am Yisrael Chai, a Holocaust organization in Atlanta, other students from the Epstein School intervewed survivors, so that their stories would be remembered and passed down in the next Holocaust Survivor Cookbook.

“From these projects I have learned how important it is to never forget the stories of those from the past, and to fight for our religion in the future,” said Karin.

“I am so proud of Karin.” Joanne said. “She has become an important part of our world mitzvah project, and she is a wonderful role model for young women everywhere.”

If you would like to use the Holocaust Survivor Cookbook as your Bat Mitzvah project, you can sell cookbooks to your family and friends to raise money for your shul and help to feed poor people in Israel.  For more information please contact Joanne Caras at 443-604-2643 or

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