Mazel Tov to Our B'nei Mitzvah Students
March 15, 2014
Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means completing my Jewish education and becoming an adult. I have learned a lot about being Jewish from Sheva and preparing for my Bat Mitzvah. I plan to continue my Jewish education by going to Hebrew High. To keep learning about Judaism and teaching others, I plan to become a tutor. Being Jewish means that we all are alike in believing in God, and that we all are unique by believing in our own different ways.
For my Mitzvah Project, I volunteered at Bright Blessings, which throws birthday parties for children whose parents cannot take care of them anymore. I also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House where I made dinners for the people who lived there. I plan on going back to the Ronald McDonald House and baking cookies. I chose these projects because I wanted to help out the less fortunate, a teaching I also found in my Torah portion. I learned how fortunate I am, and how I should remember that. I also saw how happy people were when I was volunteering and helping them out when they needed it.
Maia is the daughter of Greg and Debbie Bullard, and the sibling of Alexa Bullard. Maia is the granddaughter of Fran Kaplan, of Greensboro, North Carolina; Sue and Carroll Bullard of Atlanta, Georgia, and the great-granddaughter of Shirley Kamenetz, of Greensboro, North Carolina.
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March 1, 2014
I’m having a Bat Mitzvah because it means a lot to me. I feel a special connection with everybody else that has become B’nei Mitzvah at our Temple and with my Jewish friends at camp. I also feel more connected to other Jewish people because I have learned so much more about the Jewish religion. I feel more comfortable at Temple because I know all the prayers. Now they mean something to me. Because I am finally considered a Jewish adult in my religion, I feel that I am part of a special group. I would like to continue this connection by becoming a Religious School madricha (teaching assistant) and becoming a madricha with Bnei Mitzvah students to help them learn.
Through my mitzvah project, I am fulfilling the mitzvah of helping to bring healing to those who have breast cancer or who have recovered from breast cancer by volunteering my time at the Carolina Breast Friends, Pink House in Charlotte. This is a charity that I care about since I know many people who have cancer. I also have been sewing scarves and “perseverance” blankets to include in the care bags that they give out to their visitors. It makes me feel really good to share these items that I make with others because my scarves and blankets represent hope, strength and caring.
Marisa is the daughter of Lauren and Brad. She is the granddaughter of Doris Green and the late Justin Green and Anita and Gerard Abeles of Boston, MA. She is the sibling of Max.
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March 1, 2014
When I first started the B’nei Mitzvah process, I had no idea how much it would affect me. Once I learned all of the prayers and went to services a few times, I began to feel much more connected to my religion. I am so proud of being Jewish because it something unique that sets me apart from other people. After my Bat Mitzvah, I hope to become a madricha
and tutor future B’nei Mitzvah students. I would like to continue going to services because throughout the past 5 months I have actually grown to enjoy them! I have learned so much about what it means to be Jewish in our community.
For my mitzvah project, I lead a soccer clinic at Sterling Elementary. Sterling is Temple Beth El’s sister school, and it is a school where more than 93% percent of the students are eligible for the free lunch program. I have loved working with all of these kids and I’m so glad I was able to share my passion for soccer with them. I am so thankful to Beth Wardy, the principal of Sterling, for allowing me to have this opportunity. I plan on using some of my Bat Mitzvah gifts to buy each student a soccer ball so that they may continue playing after the clinics.
Emily is the daughter of Gwen and Paul Orland. She is the granddaughter of Marylin and Jerry Bergman and the late Allan and Elaine Orland. She is the sibling of Keith and Laura Orland.
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February 22, 2014
Becoming a Bat Mitzvah is a major honor for both my family and me. Sheva has helped me realize what an incredible accomplishment this is, and going to B’nei Mitzvah tutoring helps me to realize how blessed I am to be honored this way in the Jewish religion. Now that I am considered a Jewish adult, I plan on continuing to attend services. I also plan to continue volunteering and keep giving back to the community now that I know how good it feels to help others. I plan to keep learning about Judaism by having an open mind during services and passing my love of Torah on to anyone I can. Being Jewish means that Temple Beth El is like my second home and this congregation is like a second family. It means that I am a part of something special. And being a part of something special makes me special, too.
For my Mitzvah project, I helped kindergarten students in need. I woke up early to volunteer for an hour before going to my own school. I chose this for my Mitzvah project because I participated in a Kids Helping Kids program in school when I was in 5th grade and it made a very good impression on me. I enjoy working with children and helping them to learn and grow. Although I have already fulfilled my project requirements, I have chosen to continue volunteering with this class for the rest of the school year. Like the Israelites, I have chosen not to stop giving even though I have fulfilled my requirement because it feels good to help even when I’m not being asked to. Doing something good connects me with a feeling of accomplishing something good. This makes me feel like a better person. In those moments I feel like I am becoming more in the image of God. Although I know that I have helped them a lot, I feel as though I was the one who got more in return. After getting to know each other, these young students quickly found their way into my heart and I into theirs. Whether they talked about me at home to their parents, anticipated seeing me in the morning on the next day or just enjoyed my company, I had somehow managed to leave my mark on each child’s life. The mitzvah I have done by doing this is helping those in need. This type of tzedakah is acting righteously. I gave my time, help, advice, encouragement and smiles. I am very happy I chose this as my project because I truly love it.
Alexis is the daughter of Lori and Keith, and the sibling of Jesse, aged 9. She is the granddaughter of: Seymour and Audrey Handler, of Boynton Beach, Florida, Penny and Richie Fierstein, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and Laura and Norman Veis, of Durham, North Carolina.
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February 22, 2014
Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is about joining Jewish adult hood. It shows that I’m getting mature and growing up. Going to Sheva tells me what has happened in the past to get me where I am now; also it shows what we can do to change. When I am an adult I’m going to still go through the learning experience and go to services. For me to keep learning about Judaism, I will still go to services and know about what has changed and what has been kept the same. I will pass my religion on to my kids and it will keep going on through generations. Being Jewish is about being different and it helps me because it’s a different life style. I get asked many questions about being Bar Mitzvah and other things about being Jewish, and I can explain in my own feelings because I have studied in Sheva and for my Bar Mitzvah. I will continue learning as a Jewish adult.
My Mitzvah Project is helping special education students. We go in to the gym and play for an hour or two. It helps a lot because we get out of class and take a fun break. I chose to do this because I like to help others in any way I can. The thing I get out of it is just a smile on each kid’s face. It shows me that I have helped them and they liked what I have done. When I see a smile on their face it brings a smile to my face. By doing this Mitzvah Project I have fulfilled the mitzvah of helping the people who cannot help themselves, which is called removing a stumbling block from before the blind.
Jaxton is the son of Michael and Rebecca, and the sibling of Gabrielle and Bailey, ages 18 and 16. He is the grandson of: Dr. Gerald and Ina Kahn, of Lake Worth, Florida, and Donna and George Pascale, of Atlanta, Georgia.
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