Florida girl decorates vandalized graves at Jewish cemeteries

PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — A colorful, little girl is hoping to spread love and kindness after seeing tombstones smashed and toppled at Jewish cemeteries.

Ayel Morgenstern’s rocks are as colorful as her spirit. The 6-year-old from Parkland is painting them with a bigger purpose.

“I wanna make the whole world feel better,” she told CBS4’s Eugene Ramirez.

She’s sending the rocks across the country where Jewish headstones were vandalized in recent weeks. The idea was born when an image of a toppled headstone in a news report revealed Ayel’s own great-great-grandmother’s name.

Ayel wanted to help.

“She said, ‘Mommy, I want to paint lady bugs for good luck and hearts for a little bit more love,'” said her mother Lauren Morgenstern.

Using paintbrushes and q-tips, Ayel decorated more than 150 rocks and shipped them to Jewish students in St. Louis, who placed them at the vandalized grave sites.

“The Jewish religion is that you put a rock on the tombstone when you go to the cemetery,” Ayel explained.

Her rocks happen to be cheerful. The project blossomed as hundreds more were sent to Philadelphia and Rochester, New York.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about being kind in the world,” said mom. “And she wanted to do a mitzvah and that’s where we are today.”

The little girl’s mitzvah, or good deed, is touching many in need of a little color in their lives.

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