When She Heard That Jewish Graves Had Been Vandalized, This 6-Year-Old Started A Beautiful Project

"She wants to stop the hatred."

When 6-year-old Ayel Morgenstern from Florida heard that headstones in Jewish cemeteries around the United States had been vandalized earlier this year, she had a beautiful idea for how to spread a little kindness. 

Ayel was inspired by the Jewish tradition of placing stones on graves, and decided to start painting ladybugs and hearts on rocks to send to those affected by the vandalism. 

"The ladybugs are for good luck, and the hearts are for a little more love," Ayel's mother, Lauren Morgenstern, explained to the Huffington Post.

Ayel has reportedly painted hundreds of rocks and sent them to affected cemeteries in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Rochester, N.Y. She includes a note with each package. According to Today, the message reads: "I want to make the whole world to feel better and for everyone to be kind."


One of the cemeteries to receive a shipment of stones — Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in the St. Louis area — is particularly close to Ayel's heart. One of the headstones that had been knocked down there belonged to Rebecca Pearl, Ayel's own great-great grandmother. 

More than 150 of Ayel's painted stones were placed on vandalized graves at the cemetery last month by local Jewish students. Rabbi Yaakov Green explained that the act of placing the stone is a continuation of the burial. "You're honoring them in a way that they can never repay," he tells students in a video (below) from St. Louis Jewish Light.

Ayel isn't limiting her rocks to cemeteries. Her mother told the Huffington Post that she also sent them to the families of Adam Krief, a father who recently died of cancer after a public search for a bone marrow donor, as well as Kurt Cochran, a victim of last month's terror attack in London. She's also making them for the family of Caitlin Nelson, a college student who recently choked to death during a charity pancake-eating contest.

"She is so happy that other people are happy and that's what she wants," Morgenstern said. "She wants to stop the hatred."

You can hear more about Ayel's project in the video below, from a local CBS station:


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.