Turn The Shuttle Story into a Beautifully Illustrated Children’s Book

$3,357   raised
GOAL: $9,500

41

 Donors

Join our community of supporters and we can make a difference

This campaign receives the funds directly as soon as the funds are processed.

When Ilan Ramon joined the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, 15 years ago, he became the first Israeli astronaut and the first person in space to wear the Star of David.  Jews around the world celebrated, especially Israelis, and Jewish American school children saw just how “cool” Israel was and just how “cool” it was to be a Jew.

720px-Ilan_Ramon,_NASA_photo_portrait_in_orange_suit

Like many of his generation in Israel, Ramon was more of a cultural Jew than a religious one, but he nevertheless understood the gravity of his role.  Ramon took up into space with him a sketch called Moon Landing, drawn by a 16-year-old who died in Auschwitz, a microfiche of the Torah presented to him by the president of Israel, a dollar from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a barbed wire mezuzah from the 1939 (Holocaust) Club in Los Angeles, and most memorably, a Torah – a Torah which had been smuggled into Bergen-Belsen by a rabbi from Amsterdam who did not live to see it freed, but who gave this Torah to a 13-year-old inmate, Yehoyachin Yosef, who would later become a professor in Planetary Physics in Israel.

Ilan-Torah-scroll

This Torah, which had been handed down from generation to generation since that fateful 40 days and 40 nights when God dictated the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai, which has kept the Jewish people for 3000 years through times of joy and sadness, captivity and liberation.

Ilan Ramon said of this Torah, “This scroll symbolizes, more than anything, the ability of the Jewish people to survive everything, including horrible periods, and go from darkest days to days of hope and faith in the future.”

Tragically, on February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon its reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, killing all 7 crew members.

And though neither he, nor this Torah, nor his six crewmates, returned to earth, we can be assured that all seven souls returned to God, who created them, and that the letters of the Torah, written in deep black ink, soared among the stars and cast a heavenly light among all of God’s creations, chanting “The earth is Adonai’s and its fullness, the world and those who inhabit it.”(Psalms 24:1). (Excerpt from The Shuttle Story

Torah-in-space_1-mb

15 years ago, I remember where I was when I heard the news of the Space Shuttle disaster.  And I remember being shocked, stunned and without words.  As Cantor of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, California at time, I also had a responsibility to respond, to come up with the right words.  And that Friday afternoon, just before Family Shabbat services in which I needed to read a story in front of children of all ages and their families, I wrote The Shuttle Story.

I could not have imagined the response The Shuttle Story received. In a kahal made up of every age group, people were singing the refrains along with me (which were set to Torah trope), even children long before bar mitzvah age who had never heard Torah trope before.   People laughed, people cried, people remarked how The Shuttle Story imbued this tragedy with meaning.  Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi David Golinkin published The Shuttle Story in the Machon Schechter newsletter from where it traveled the internet and was read in synagogue after synagogue.

Too often in our Jewish experience, our triumphs have been tempered with tragedy.  Our history is replete with stories of loss and destruction.  The Shuttle Story turns one such tragedy into a story of, in Ilan’s own words, “hope and faith in the future.”

When we ask our children who their heroes are, they are apt to name a YouTube personality, athlete, reality TV star or superhero.  In their constant exposure to SpaceX rockets, self-driving cars, cell phones and video games, sometimes Judaism and Jewish education seem a little less relevant.

This is where you come in.

I need your help to bring The Shuttle Story, the story of Ilan Ramon and his Holocaust Torah, to a new generation.

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Ilan Ramon, the first astronaut from Israel, the only non-American to ever be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, an Israeli fighter pilot whose mother survived Auschwitz and whose father fought for Israel’s Independence, is a real-life Jewish hero that our children can embrace.

And yet, The Shuttle Story has two heroes really — Ilan Ramon and the Torah.

The Shuttle Story teaches our children at a sensory level (you might even say at the “kishkes” level) the importance and centrality of the Torah, just how “cool” the Torah chant they are studying for their b’nei mitzvah celebration is, and that they are an essential link in an epic chain of history and revelation.

The Shuttle Story should be in the hands of every b’nei mitzvah student, whether s/he be current, future, an adult, or even an 83-year-old second-go-around b’nei mitzvah student.

To bring The Shuttle Story to this new generation, you and I are going to publish it in hardcover, select the illustrations and book cover, and make sure the Shuttle Story is in the hands of everyone you know, in the hands of every past and future b’nei mitzvah student, and in every synagogue and Jewish school’s library.

I have recorded the audio track with the Jewish music legend Sam Glaser, enlisted an editor, publisher and have received great sample art from potential illustrators.

As a champion of this cause, you can help me create this masterpiece that will be passed down from generation to generation.

How You Can Help

There are two major ways you can join me in this exciting work and earn exclusive rewards and performances:

-Publicity: Join the campaign – use email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to tell everyone you know! Be my ambassador and earn rewards for the total amount you raise for the book. Help get the word out from the mountaintop!

-Contributions: Every little bit helps! I am setting a goal of $9,500 but in truth that is only a two-thirds of the total budget needed. If I could get 250 people to contribute at least $36 each, I would already be very close to making this goal!

Here is a Video of Me Reading The Shuttle Story

Join our community of supporters and we can make a difference

This campaign receives the funds directly as soon as the funds are processed.
No new updates
2018-10-13
Leslye Hull
$100
2018-07-15
Anonymous donor
2018-07-06
Jack and Sandy Fine
$100
2018-07-03
Anonymous donor
$100
2018-04-15
The Kahns
2018-04-12
Karen Gottlieb
$36
"I wish you great success with your latest endeavor!"
2018-04-04
Meredith
"such a lovely story, glad to be part of the project"
2018-04-03
Marian & Charley Goldsmith
$180
2018-03-30
Judy and Manny Baker
"In honor of our Grandson Caleb Baker's Bar Mitzvah."
2018-03-27
Jeffrey and Minda Salberg
2018-03-27
Anonymous donor
$100
2018-03-25
Peters Family
$105
2018-03-14
Rabbi Janet Madden
"Kol HaKavod!"
2018-03-09
Cantor Perry and Miki Fine
2018-03-09
Judy Fishman
$36
2018-03-08
Dorothy Dorsay
"Best wishes to Melanie Fine with her SHUTTLE STORY."
2018-03-07
Anonymous donor
2018-03-07
Marion Klein
"I know this time it will FLY!!! Break a leg! Marion Klein (Lev)"
2018-03-07
Iris Bendahan
"Good Luck getting this very special story out into the light."
2018-03-06
Liz Berke
$18
"Proud of what you are doing and hope you meet with success!"
2018-03-06
Anonymous donor
2018-03-05
Beth Meyer Religious School
$100
2018-03-03
Phyllis Greenberg
2018-03-03
Jessica and Leah Youngblood
2018-03-02
Ruth Salk
$50
"Congratulations Melanie..love, aunt Ruth"
2018-03-01
Andrea and Noah Jussim
$20
"What a beautiful story. Behatzlacha!"
2018-03-01
Davide Di Giorgio
$100
"Thank you for bringing this beautiful work to the world!"
2018-03-01
Anonymous donor
2018-02-28
Connie Goldberg
$50
2018-02-28
Leslye Hull
$100
2018-02-28
Barbara Goldstone
2018-02-28
Marjorie Alpert, Jeff Warwick, Maya Warwick, Mayer Warwick
"So glad we could help fund your dream!"
2018-02-28
Barbara and Chuck Taubman
2018-02-28
Sharoan Jeung
2018-02-28
Robin Winston
"Good luck, Melanie! This will be a fabulous book!"
2018-02-28
Norman and Rachel Abramovitz
2018-02-28
Lee Fischer & Mark Reden
$100
2018-02-28
Anonymous donor
"This is a lovely story for children, within the Jewish community and beyond."
2018-02-28
Cantor Nancy Abramson
$36
2018-02-28
Marsha Lewin Latiner
$50
2018-02-28
Susan and Bernie Bronstein
$100

This campaign deals with:

Arts, Books & Culture | Education & Youth

Turn The Shuttle Story into a Beautifully Illustrated Children’s Book

$3,357   raised
GOAL: $9,500

41

 Donors

Campaign by
Cantor Melanie Fine
CA, USA

Melanie Fine is a cantor, Torah reader, writer, science teacher and a staunch advocate of girls in science. She lives in Los Angeles with her 11-year-old son Max.

  • The Shuttle Story PDF and Audio
    2 claimed

    Receive an electronic version of The Shuttle Story.

  • First Edition Hardcover of The Shuttle Story
    7 claimed

    Receive a first edition hardcover of The Shuttle Story.

  • First Edition Hardcover of The Shuttle Story (Autographed)
    17 claimed

    You will receive an autographed, first edition of The Shuttle Story, signed by the author Melanie Fine and you will be listed as a backer in the finished book. Further, with this level of sponsorship, you will be included in our special Facebook Group where you'll get to be the first to see the book as it evolves, and help make the decisions on illustrations, cover, etc.

  • Silver Library Sponsorship
    2 claimed

    In addition to receiving an autographed, first edition of The Shuttle Story, signed by the author Melanie Fine, your name will be included in the book as a Silver Library Sponsor and I will provide an additional copy in your name (or anonymously) to the synagogue or library of your choice. Further, with this level of sponsorship, you will be included in our private Facebook Group where you'll get to be the first to see the book as it evolves, and help make the decisions on illustrations, cover, etc.

  • Gold Library Sponsorship
    1 claimed

    In addition to receiving an autographed, first edition of The Shuttle Story, signed by the author Melanie Fine, your name will be included in the book as a Gold Library Sponsor and I will provide an additional 4 copies in your name (or anonymously) to the synagogue or library of your choice. Further, with this level of sponsorship, you will be included in our private Facebook Group where you'll get to be the first to see the book as it evolves, and help make the decisions on illustrations, cover, etc.

  • Platinum Library Sponsorship
    0 claimed

    In addition to receiving an autographed, first edition of The Shuttle Story, signed by the author Melanie Fine, your name will be included in the book as a Platinum Library Sponsor and I will provide an additional 9 copies in your name (or anonymously) to the synagogue or library of your choice. Further, with this level of sponsorship, you will be included in our private Facebook Group where you'll get to be the first to see the book as it evolves, and help make the decisions on illustrations, cover, etc.

  • Chai Sponsorship
    0 claimed

    In addition to receiving an autographed, first edition of The Shuttle Story, signed by the author Melanie Fine, you will be able to include a half-page dedication in the published book, as well as provide an additional 25 copies in your name (or anonymously) to the synagogues or libraries of your choice. Imagine being able to gift the upcoming 25 b'nei mitzvah in your favorite synagogue with their own copy of The Shuttle Story. You could do that with this sponsorship. Further, with this level of sponsorship, you will be included in our private Facebook Group where you'll get to be the first to see the book as it evolves, and help make the decisions on illustrations, cover, etc.

  • Double Chai Sponsorship
    0 claimed

    In addition to receiving an autographed, first edition of The Shuttle Story, signed by the author Melanie Fine, you will be able to include a full-page dedication in the published book, as well as provide an additional 50 copies in your name (or anonymously) to the synagogues or libraries of your choice. Imagine being able to gift the upcoming 50 b'nei mitzvah in your favorite synagogue with their own copy of The Shuttle Story. You could do that with this sponsorship. Further, with this level of sponsorship, you will be included in our private Facebook Group where you'll get to be the first to see the book as it evolves, and help make the decisions on illustrations, cover, etc.

  • Sponsor a Scholar in Residence Weekend
    0 claimed

    Cantor Melanie Fine is master story teller, songwriter, teacher, davener and leyner. She will custom-design a transformational experience for your shul or organization that will be like no other. In the Scholar in Residence weekend, Cantor Fine will speak about the genesis of the book and tell the story. In addition, she will bring up to 50 Shuttle Story books with her to share with your community.

  • Don't see the amount you want to donate? Every contribution helps!

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