How much is 12,000? While searching for a bar mitzvah project, Mory Gould of Potomac discovered that more than 12,000 rockets have fallen on Israel since 2001. That number was heartbreaking to him — and he became determined to do something to show the people in Israel that he cared “so they don’t feel so alone and helpless.”
During his research for his project, 13-year-old Mory and his mom Robin asked themselves how much the number 12,000 really represented. They discovered that 12,000 rubber bands would stretch over 10 football fields. There are 12,000 minutes in 8.3 days. Twelve thousand quarters would stack 69 feet high. Twelve thousand average-sized 13 year-old boys standing on one another’s shoulders would reach 62,000 feet. Twelve thousand minivans would stretch 38 miles. Twelve thousand basketballs would overflow an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
“After I found out that there had been more than 12,000 rockets causing so much damage to Israel, my goal became to collect 12,000 rubber bands and to make a giant chain to show people just how much 12,000 is and to make them aware of the terrible damage that the rockets have caused in Israel,” he said. “I am collecting the rubber bands for Operation Embrace, a non-profit organization that helps injured survivors of terror attacks in Israel.” Instead of gifts for his bar mitzvah on Oct. 27, 2012, Mory asked that his guests make donations to Operation Embrace.
Since the beginning of June, Mory has collected more than 6,000 rubber bands. He’s hoping to meet his goal by the end of next summer.
He placed boxes in his school, synagogue and solicited relatives, friends and neighbors for rubber bands. He created a sign which demonstrates how huge the number 12,000 really is — to make people understand how devastating the number of rockets has been to the victims of terror in Israel.
“I hope to place my chain of rubber bands on display where others can see it and understand the terrible effects of the rocket attacks and how much of Israel has been destroyed.” Mory said. “The idea of the rubber bands is that we will ‘band’ together like a rubber band does to support these people and give them strength to live their lives. We are also ‘stretching out’ to help Israel.”
Mory, the son of Robin and David Gould of Potomac, is an eighth grade student at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. He loves sports and participates in soccer, basketball and diving. He traveled with his family to Israel several years ago where they visited Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Wailing Wall and many of sites of Israel — and his favorite part of the trip was the archeological dig.
Through his project, Mory has learned, “that one person, no matter how small you are, can make a big difference in the world. I want the Israelis to realize that we are not going to leave them out to dry — that we will always follow through to help them.”