As winter approaches in Israel, Australians Renee and Pam are spearheading an effort to get warm beanies over to IDF soldiers.
The Black Beanie Project is based on Hats for Israeli Soldiers, which began in 2008 when a group of Israeli women decided to use their craft to knit warmer beanies than those provided by the IDF, to show the community’s appreciation.
Following the terror attack on October 7, Sydneysiders Pam and Renee hit the ground running on their own project in Australia.
Almost immediately after a call out was posted for the Black Beanie Project, knitting circles and dozens of community members responded, which for Pam, was truly heartwarming.
“After just one week, a miracle happened,” she said. “We sent hundreds of beanies to the IDF.”
The first consignment, with shipment sponsored by two local community members, was sent to the Michael Levin Base for Lone Soldiers, which helps lone soldiers and their parents before, during and after service. The boxes included cards written by Our Kitchen Hand program participants at Jewish Care NSW.
“There are so many people out there who would like to be doing something for Israel,” Pam said. “The emotion shown when the beanies are being delivered is unbelievable; tears are shed.”
When asked whether the ‘non-knitters’ can purchase beanies, Pam said absolutely, but they cannot be fleece lined or have pompoms.
The Black Beanie Project very quickly became a worldwide campaign, with South Africa, London, Boston, San Diego and Florida acting on the Sydney initiative. Closer to home, Pam has been contacted by representatives in Perth, Brisbane and Canberra so it’s truly an Australian endeavour.
Pam shared a note that she received from a mother whose son is fighting in Gaza, which read, “Your knitting project warms my heart … it makes me smile to think of IDF soldiers having their heads warmed by Australian beanies.”
Shortly, a soldier heading to Israel to fight with the IDF will depart with another load of beanies to deliver.
Writing on Facebook that she has been absolutely blown away, Pam said the support and spirit has been tremendous. But, she reiterated, there are still a lot of cold heads needing love and warmth.
“Please keep on clicking those needles, we have a long way to go.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the knitting pattern.
Pam Wertheim and her granddaughter Gemma modelling the beanies.