This Sunday, January 19, marks the 3rd yahrtzeit of Thalia Hakin, the ten-year-old Australian who was tragically killed when a motorist stormed Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall on a Friday afternoon, Tevet 22, 5777 (January 20, 2017). Thalia was a student at Beth Rivkah Ladies College (BRLC) and is lovingly remembered by many for her smile, warm nature and enthusiasm for Jewish life. 

In 2015, JGU globally launched Project “One More Light”, encouraging girls to express what Shabbos candle-lighting means to them through an essay-competition, and compiling selected entries into a new book of the same title (the third of its kind).  The following is Thalia’s submission, which initially was accidentally overlooked; but when content for the book was being finalized almost two years later, her message was re-discovered by JGU Global Director Nechama Dina Laber… only days after Thalia’s passing.  

“When you light up a candle you light up your neshama [soul]. And you light up the world. And when you light up the world you make it a better place. Like for you and me and everybody. Now the world is dark but soon to be bright for us. And im yirtze Hashem [G‑d willing] Moshiach will come.” – Thalia Hakin, Age 9

Perhaps we can suggest that Thalia’s essay was found exactly when it was meant to be.  “I understood it was Thalia’s soul speaking to us and sending us words of strength in dark times,” reflected Laber.  “I feel blessed that I found it just when the world needed to hear her precious words.”  Since then, her timeless and uplifting message of hope has been shared worldwide, serving as “a guiding light for every innocent child who prays for a better world, for light and peace” (Thalia tribute in One More Light).  It has also become the lyrics to a powerful composition produced as“Thalia’s Song”, with a melody composed by Rivka Leah Popack, arranged and sung by Sam Glaser.  This song is now being shared officially as a global initiative to perpetuate Thalia’s legacy, auspiciously timing with the milestone of her beloved younger sister Maggie’s Bat Mitzvah.  What a precious gift!

Thalia Hakin at age 9, on left; a copy of her handwritten poem, on right

In commemoration of Thalia’s yahrtzeit this Sunday, Tevet 22, JGU encourages that everyone shares her song, so Thalia may continue to illuminate on a global scale!  Any JGU Members who has shared Thalia’s song with others is invited to enter their name below in the comments (or to JewishGirlsUnite@gmail.com) until February 2, 2020, for a chance to win a One More Light book and pendant-necklace in an exclusive raffle!  Sign up today for free at JewishGirlsUnite.com to become a member of the global community of Jewish daughters empowered to spread light and create positive change in the world!


May we usher in the ultimate light of Redemption speedily in our days, and may the soul of Sarah bas Yoav v’Mazal (Thalia Hakin, of blessed memory) experience a tremendous spiritual elevation!