Charitable Ideas for the Bar Mitzvah / Bat MitzvahBecoming a bar or bat mitzvah means accepting more mature obligations in life in accordance with the Jewish religion. Mitzvah is a Hebrew word that means commandment and bar and bat mitzvahs are called to obey the Jewish commandments throughout their adult life.
This important stage in a young person’s life is also a time to start doing good deeds to other people. The Torah actually requires the bar or bat mitzvah to do 613 different acts, to be exact and this, of course, includes sharing one’s blessings.
With the teachings of their parents and religious leaders, many bar and bat mitzvahs today have adopted charitable projects during their celebrations. Charity giving is seen as the perfect way to instill the importance of the process a young boy or girl goes through as they become a Jewish adult.
The act of giving to charitable organizations can be done either at the Shabbat service or at the reception party during which the traditional candle lighting ceremony takes place. The celebrant may request guests beforehand to give monetary gifts instead of material things as a form of donation to his or her chosen charity.
Numerous charitable groups exist today that it’s highly recommended for the bar or bat mitzvah to do some prior research before selecting a particular organization that helps the Jewish community not only in the U.S. but even in Israel. On the internet, the Ziv Tzedakah Fund (www.ziv.org), Charitable Choices (charitychoices.com) and eMitz.com provide a list of special charities and links to their websites.
- Make It Count Project. Founded by Amy Wynn Brown, this encourages the making of craft projects that could be donated to the less fortunate people in the community.
- Project H.O.P.E. The acronym refers to “Helping Our People Everywhere” and the project aims to collect and distribute food to the poor and elderly Jews during Passover.
- East-West Connection. This is a nationwide program encourage local communities to initiate a food drive during the month of October.
- Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger. This project aims to feed the hungry people worldwide.
- Chai Lifeline. This is a non-profit organization that provides varied support services for Jewish children and families suffering serious illnesses.
- Yad LaKashish. This is an Israeli social service organization the helps the elderly and disabled and conducts arts and crafts workshop. Besides giving monetary support to organizations, the bar or bat mitzvah and his family and friends can start their own project in their community. We share some ideas below.
- Volunteer at a local homeless shelter for a certain period.
- Donate used clothes to the needy.
- Help in a local animal shelter.
- Plant trees in a certain area or help clean up a park.
- Collect books and magazines and donate them to hospitals, nursing homes and other needy people.
- Train to become a care provider to help babysit children with disabilities.
- Help organize a program that will offer rides to the elderly and disabled members of you synagogue. This will allow them to take part in religious services.
Charity giving is a truly admirable act that children should learn to do not only as they turn 12 or 13 but even throughout their adult life. More blessings will come to you if you know how to give and share without expecting anything in return.
Read more articles on the subject: Planning a Bar Mitzvah
Tags: Planning a Bar Mitzvah