Huvi Hirschey collected more than 500 baby outfits for distribution on the maternity ward

It’s been several years since Ahuva (Huvi) Hirschey of Elizabeth, NJ, first visited the maternity ward at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where her grandmother volunteers. Huvi, now 12, was a little girl at the time. But what her bubby, Jacqueline Maltz, told her then left a lasting impression: many babies born at Shaare Zedek each year won’t have a new outfit to wear home. Some are born into large families and receive older siblings’ hand-me-downs; others are born into families that simply can not afford a new outfit that will shortly be outgrown. Even more difficult is when a baby is born with a disability; often then people hesitate before even congratulating the parents, let alone offering a gift.

Huvi, whose smile lights up a room, decided that encouraging her guests to help would be an important part of her bat mitzvah celebration. The sixth grader at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston included a note with her invitation that read, “My Bubby volunteers in the maternity department at Shaare Zedek hospital. Can you believe that more than 20,000 babies are born there each year? My Bubby told me that there are many mothers who are very poor and do not have a new outfit to put on their babies to go home. I really think that every new baby should go home wearing something new and not something torn or stained, and that is why I am asking for your help…” She asked for donations of new baby clothing and blankets.

The response was overwhelming. People brought shopping bags filled with adorable new baby clothes; over 500 outfits were more >