8-year-old girl raises money, opens Chico Jewish Children's Library

Sep 24, 2014 12:18 PM by Alyssa Deitsch

An eight-year old Chico girl just did something not many adults can claim--she opened a new library in town and used her own, hard-earned cash to fund the digs.

Moussia Zwiebel, the daughter of Rabbi Mendy at the Chabad House, has been selling challah bread weekly, for nearly a year, to raise enough money for the Chico Jewish Children's Library." A library full of Jewish books and toys that is open for anyone, no matter religious affiliation, to come enjoy.

Moussia's mom, Chana, says though many of the books feature Jewish characters, speak to any child and about three-quarters of them hold timeless messages about sharing, caring for others, visiting the sick, etc.

Moussia and Chana wanted to honor a family friend who passed away last October. "After someone passes," Chana said, explaining a mitzvah. "We're mourning them but at the same time we think what can we do in their honor? And this woman was a very passionate librarian."

"We're always teaching our children to help others," Chana said.

So what better way to honor a librarian than to dedicate a library in their honor? Moussia told her mom she wanted to make a Jewish library for kids.

In order to raise the funds for expensive, new books. Moussia turned to a place she grew up--the kitchen.

"She's been baking with me since she was two-years-old and she's already braiding intricate six braids," Chana said, explaining Moussia is now teaching her maternal grandmother, who has been baking challah for over 30 years, how to better braid her bread.

And the community must have taken notice, because after 10 months of selling Challah on a weekly basis... Moussia got the money.

"There's a library that if you pay like 500-something dollars you could buy their whole library," Moussia said, describing the publishing house from which they ordered the books. "So we got that money and I bought the whole library."

The Jewish Chico Children's Library opened to the public Sunday, September 14th. It is located inside the Chabad House at 440 W. Fourth Street in downtown Chico.

"Look what [kids] can accomplish," Chana said, a proud, beaming mother. "What one little eight-year-old girl, just having a little chat with her mom and look what came from that."

You can find Moussia and her mom selling Challah at downtown Chico's Thursday Night Market (market closes for the season September 25), or you can head to www.jewishchico.com/challah for the order form.


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