Forward Thinking

From Ayelet to Noah Pozner, With Love

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Noah Pozner

Seth and Hindy Poupko Galena freely admit they do not know what it feels like to be affected by senseless gun violence.

But the Jewish couple does know the pain of losing a young child, having struggled as their 2-year-old daughter, Ayelet, fought a losing battle with a rare bone marrow disease.

When Seth Galena heard the eulogies for Noah Pozner, the Jewish boy who died in the Newtown school shooting, he wanted to do something to ease the pain of the family. He came up with“Tacos For Noah.”

“I read the eulogies given by Noah’s mother and uncle, both of which mentioned his love of tacos. The tacos really stuck with me,” Seth Galena, 35, said. “I printed out Noah’s photo Tuesday morning and put it up on my office wall and kept looking at it.”

Seth Galena told some of his co-workers at VML, an advertising firm, about his thoughts. In not much time at all, the idea to create a virtual taco factory for Noah was generated.

With the support of the firm’s technical director, Seth Galena, who does not know the Pozners, had the “Tacos for Noah” site up and running after three hours of work Tuesday evening. When people click to “make” a taco on the site, they are directed to their own personal Twitter account, thus sending their wishes in memory of Noah (and spreading the word about #tacosfornoah) out to all their followers.

“It was so clear to me that something had to be done in relation to who Noah was, to the real, tangible things that resonated for him,” said Seth Galena. “Focusing on the tacos makes it more real, more understandable.”

“We’ve learned how to respond through our experience,” added Seth Galena. “People are talking about the larger issues related to the shooting, but I wanted to focus on what made this kid who he was.”

Hindy Poupko Galena, 29, gave all credit for the idea to her husband.

But she had also been trying to think of a way to let the parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims know that she understands their pain.

“You can’t exactly compare a child dying from a gun attack to one dying of a serious illness,” Hindy Poupko Galena said. “But I do think I know the pain of losing a child more intimately than others. If only I could talk to those mothers and let them know I am here for them.

Hindy Poupko was recently named to the Forward 50 for the impact of the “Eye on Ayelet” blog on which she and her husband chronicled their family’s life during Ayelet’s illness.

Noah Pozner’s love for tacos reminded the couple of little Ayelet’s obsession with straws and stickers.

“She loved those,” Seth recalled. “Those were her quirks.”

Noah’s grandmother signalled her approval in her own blog.

“If you want to have a bit of fun with Noah, go make a taco at Tacos for Noah,” the grandmother wrote. “I have no clue who put up that website but I love it. I can’t wait to let the girls loose on it.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: shooting, seth galena, rampage, noah pozner, newtown, jewish, hindy poupko galena, ayelet galena

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.