Connection and Unity

Consider your maximum impact

SoulStrokes is an initiative born from a deeply personal journey into the power of art to connect, heal and commemorate.

Sharon Givoni found solace in her art.
Sharon Givoni found solace in her art.

In the vast and intricate tapestry of Jewish life and history, each individual thread, every person’s contribution, plays a pivotal role. This belief underscores the essence of SoulStrokes, an initiative born from a deeply personal journey into the power of art to connect, heal and commemorate.

The story of SoulStrokes intertwines with my own family’s tragedy during the October 7 massacre, a day that profoundly changed my perspective on individual impact and communal strength. My cousin Sergeant Jonatan Golan a brave soul, was grievously wounded, a loss that was both personal and collective. In the wake of this tragedy, amid the grief and the search for meaning, I found solace in art, my refuge and expression.

The realisation that art, in its universal language, holds the power to transcend the immediate, to encapsulate moments of deep emotion and significance came to me as I poured my grief and memories of Yoni into a portrait, an act of commemoration that unexpectedly resonated with many across our community. This overwhelming response led to the birth of SoulStrokes, a not-for-profit initiative with a mission to capture the essence and legacy of individuals who have left an indelible mark on our lives and our collective Jewish narrative.

SoulStrokes aims to do more than just create art; it seeks to forge a unique connection between personal loss and communal resilience. By offering portraits of fallen Israeli soldiers to their families at no charge, we extend a hand of comfort and remembrance. Each portrait is a testament to the individual’s life, capturing not just a likeness but the spirit, the personality and the story behind the face. The process is a collaborative journey, with families choosing to personalise their portraits with specific colours, patterns, or textures, making each piece profoundly personal and unique.

This initiative has grown to encompass a broader mission, reflecting my belief that each of us has the capacity to contribute to our community in meaningful ways, irrespective of our talents or circumstances. SoulStrokes stands as a beacon of hope and connection in times of crisis. It serves not only as a tribute to those we have lost but also as an invitation to reflect on our roles within the broader narrative of our people. Just like the recent front-page headline on The AJN ‘How will you show up for Israel?’ in sharing the story of SoulStrokes, I hope to inspire others to consider their points of maximum impact. How might we, as individuals, contribute to the collective strength and unity of our community? Whether through art, prayer, or advocacy, we each have a role to play in weaving the ongoing story of our people.

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