Blue candles distributed here in support of Ethan Kadish

Blue candles distributed here in support of Ethan Kadish

Ethan Kadish
Ethan Kadish

Rabbi Sharyn Henry has brought a fundraising campaign for a 13-year-old lightning strike victim to Pittsburgh, encouraging Jews across the area to light blue candles for the eighth night of Chanukah.
Henry distributed some 300 blue candles to families over a two-week period, culminating with Wednesday’s IlumiNER ExtraordinNER program at the Heinz History Center.
“Ethan Kadish was struck by lightning on June 29 at Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Ind.,” Henry wrote in a message enclosed in the bags of candles she is distributing. “After 145 days in the hospital, Ethan, now 13, is home. His long road to recovery will be arduous, but he and his family are strong and resolute. As we light this blue candle on the 8th night of Chanukah, we are aware that the strength and courage of the Maccabees lives within all of us. May the light of our little blue candles, and our great compassion, reach Ethan and his family.”
The Chronicle learned Wednesday that Ethan was back in the hospital. Details of his condition were not immediately known, though Henry said he is susceptible to infections and readmissions are to be expected.
The blue candles are part of a national campaign called Team Ethan, which is designed to raise money to help Ethan’s family cover expenses related to a June 29 lightning strike at Goldman Union Camp Institute, a Jewish summer camp near Indianapolis.
Ethan was teaching a group of younger children how to play Ultimate Frisbee when the lightning bolt struck him. He went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the children’s hospital in Cincinnati where he was placed in He was placed in an induced coma and had to breathe through a respirator.
He still has a feeding tube and needs round the clock nursing care. His family — including parents Scott and Alexia, and siblings Zakary and Elyse — are facing many financial challenges.
Henry, who was at Goldman Camp the day of the strike, said the whole experience has been a very personal and emotional for her.
To assist the family, a fundraising campaign in Ethan’s honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for 30 years.
All contributions are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Great Lakes Catastrophic Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only.
To contribute, visit