This appeared in Connections Magazine
Balloony – Balloon Twister
is amazing that Beit Shemesh produces all kinds of talent, but U.D’s must be
one of the more unusual. U.D. (AKA, Jay Akselrud) is a balloon twister, which
means he is one of those people that produces extraordinary shapes out of
simple, long balloons. U.D. first discovered his talent ten years ago when he
was working as a computer trainer. The guy working next to him was a
“twister” and offered to teach him all the skills. Since then, U.D. has
performed in sporting events, the Women’s World Cup, charity events, weddings,
upsherins and innumerable hospitals. He trains young balloon twisters who also
visit hospitals and orphanages. U.D. visited Gush Katif families after the
evacuation, to entertain and bring smiles to the kids’ faces. U.D. keeps his
day job, which often takes him back to his native US, but when in Israel, he
uses his skills as a supplementary profession. He does not twist often for
money, but brings along his kids to perform for chesed and “rack up” the
mitzvot. U.D. would like to keep performing and show more people how easy and
fun it is to make others happy.
This appeared in Hamodia Newspaper on December 14th, 2005
Balloon Twisting and Chessed Chug Twists at Hadassah
On Thursday, December 9th, the Balloon twisting and Chessed Chug with its 20 members, ages 7 to 12, hailing from Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh, made its second visit to the hospital and third chessed trip overall.
Headed by Oleh Chadash, Yudie Akselrud, “Yudie Ballooney”
of balloontwister.com, the chug aims to bring youngsters to perform cheesed and
bring smiles to those who need it. Teaching balloon sculptures to children and
then going on Chessed trips in
“I want to show kids, including my own, that with some air and a little latex, you can bring smiles and really make someone’s day”
Akselrud, who has been a balloon twister in the
“Its great seeing the faces of accomplishment on their faces as they learn and perfect new sculptures and really brighten up the faces of either sick children or the seniors that we twist for”.
The chug has grown from 3 members in Ramat Beit Shemesh to over 20 members in 4 chuggim in Ramat Beit Shemesh and Beit shemesh – and is looking to expand to include other areas in this Mitzva.
If anyone is interested in joining or organizing a chug in your area, please contact Yudie Akselrud at email@example.com.
Yudie Ballooney is also available for parties, Bar / Bat Mitzvahs and other simchas.