Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Houston brothers convert hundreds of yarmulkes into face masks for the homeless

After years of attending friends’ bar and bat mitzvahs, brothers Matthew, Jeremy, and Danny Jason had dozens of kippot stashed all over their Houston home, souvenirs they never thought they’d need again.

But in the era of coronavirus, there’s a good use for any object that covers the nose and mouth. In the past several weeks, the brothers and their parents have converted hundreds of kippot into makeshift face masks and distributed them among Houston’s homeless population.

Matthew Jason, 15, said that he and his older brothers were struck by inspiration while fiddling with their kippot before a Shabbat dinner.

“We were already thinking about how to do something for the community,” he said. Now, they had an idea.

In the subsequent weeks the brothers turned their home into an impromptu mask-making factory, sewing elastic bands to every kippah they could find. They donated the finished products through Food Not Bombs, an organization that provides meals to homeless people in the Houston area. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, both Matthew and Jeremy Jason, 19, volunteered with Food Not Bombs once a week.

After exhausting their stock of kippot, the brothers turned to their synagogue, Congregation Brith Shalom, for help with procurement. Their fellow congregants have proved effective supply chain managers: Matthew Jason says that every time he stops by the donation box outside the synagogue’s building, he’s sure to find a few dozen kippot. So far, the brothers have made about 300 masks.

While homemade masks aren’t a long-term substitute for medical protective gear, for now the brothers are filling an urgent need in their community.

“People are very grateful we are doing this,” Jeremy Jason told the Jewish Herald-Voice.

Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at [email protected]

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.