Atlanta’s Jewish community launched an effort at the Israel@70 celebration Sunday, April 29, to set the Guinness world record for the creation of the largest cookie flag mosaic. In the process, the community aims to send a strong message of support to Israel and raise more than $1 million for three Israeli charities.
“This project is about supporters of Israel around the world sending a giant hug to the Israeli people,” said Rabbi Yitz Tendler, the executive director of Congregation Beth Jacob, who came up with the idea. “By setting this new record on their behalf, we are showing them that their celebration is our celebration, and by raising these funds, we are also providing them with real, tangible support which will enhance their society in so many ways.”
A cookie flag mosaic is the assembly of small cookies of different colors to form the image of a large flag. The record was set in 2017 in Pakistan with the formation of a flag covering almost 2,500 square feet in green and white cookies to commemorate that nation’s 70th anniversary.
The Atlanta plan calls for a cookie mosaic flag almost 50 percent larger — 3,700 square feet — composed of more than 135,000 blue and white cookies. The more than 10,000 baker’s dozens will be assembled Sunday, June 3, at Beth Jacob at 1855 LaVista Road in Toco Hills.
A judge from Guinness World Records will be there to certify the record.
A kosher factory in New York is supplying the cookies, Rabbi Tendler said, and Atlanta donors have agreed to cover all expenses involved in the record attempt. Thus, every dollar raised will go to one of three Israeli nonprofit organizations: United Hatzalah, a volunteer-led emergency response organization; OneFamily Fund, which supports victims of terror; and a Jewish Agency-affiliated program to help disadvantaged people in Israel’s north.
Because Guinness requires the distribution of the cookies for consumption after the record attempt for it to be valid, the project will have local beneficiaries as well. Organizers expect to donate many of the cookies to schools and homeless shelters.
The money will be raised from people sponsoring, or virtually purchasing, cookies for the flag mosaic for $10 each. Supporters of Israel anywhere in the world can contribute to the project at www.cookiesforisrael.org.
If all the cookies sell, more than $1.35 million will be raised for the three Israeli charities.
The diverse volunteer committee of Toco Hills residents overseeing the project had a table at the big birthday party, which marked the start of a five-week dash to sell the cookies.
The Spicy Peach’s Jodi Wittenberg, one of the volunteers, said, “This flag is such a feel-good way to unite such a diverse group of Israel supporters. I mean, how can you argue with cookies?”