Mazel Tov to Our B'nei Mitzvah Students
May 25, 2013
I am having a Bat Mitzvah because in our family, it's kind of what we do. If one of us does it, the others want to prove they can do it too. In preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I have learned a lot about the prayers and of course how to chant/sing them. I have learned a lot in Sheva about how Jews are known for arguing; it was my favorite lesson. I have also learned a good bit about Jewish history from my Torah portion and from discussion of the prayers. As a Jewish adult, I hope to continue by going to services occasionally and maybe becoming a Bat Mitzvah tutor or maybe a madricha in the Religious School. I feel like being Jewish makes me special because, among other things, we are passionate about what we believe and we think a lot about deeper things. I plan to go to Hebrew High School to continue my Jewish education. I like to teach my friends about Jewish culture and the differences between their religions and mine.
My Mitzvah project has been to work as a volunteer at the Nature Museum. I have been teaching the kids about the animals there as well as taking care of the animals and helping out a non-profit organization that teaches children and families about nature. I particularly like teaching children about how to encounter animals in the wild as well as teaching them information about the animals. (Sometimes I carry a snake around the museum -- my favorite is Gus, a black rat snake whom I wish could be with me on my special day -- so that children learn compassion for something they might be scared of.)
Layla is the daughter of Linda MacDonald and Mickey Aberman. She is the granddaughter of Mary Ann and the late Eddie Aberman and Ann and the late Arthur MacDonald. She is the sibling of Alex and Kate.
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May 25, 2013
I wanted to become a Bat Mitzvah for myself and it was also my parents’ expectation. Reading from Torah is my way to affirm and confirm being Jewish. Reading from the Torah is holy and makes me proud. This is just the beginning of my Jewish journey. I plan on being a madrichah in Bnei Mitzvah tutoring and going to Hebrew High. I am proud of being Jewish because being Jewish makes me feel like my truest self.
I decided to work on a few different mitzvah projects in preparation for my Bat Mitzvah. Over the past several weeks I worked with children from the Freedom School, The Friendship Circle Gardens and I made food baskets for the homebound elderly. Working on several different projects has been a refreshing way to make an impact on things that are meaningful to me. The Friendship Circle Garden is an organization that feeds diverse groups of people from all over the Charlotte area. It provides fresh fruits and vegetable as a healthier alternative to canned foods. As I worked on the garden with other kids we met some of the seniors who expressed how proud they were that young adults, like me, were working on such an amazing project. I also volunteered to work with young children from the Freedom School. Some of my responsibilities were to help with an art project and to serve lunch. Here again, I was drawn to helping people receive good nutritious foods. Through the many projects I worked on I fulfilled the mitzvah of feeding the hungry, helping the needy, caring for the environment and honoring the elderly.
Jillian is the daughter of Ed and Carissa Schlesinger. She is the Granddaughter of Mickey and Elaine Avedon, Carol and Bill Crossman. Jillian is the sister of Natalie Schlesinger
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May 18, 2013
Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means I must take on more responsibility in the Jewish community and everyday life. I have learned to appreciate how much time and energy goes into preparing for this milestone. While preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I have learned how to be a more active member in the Jewish community. This means attending services regularly and practicing prayers in my time at home. Also in Sheva I have become closer with my peers and teachers.
Now that I have become an adult in the eyes of Judaism, I will continue to attend Friday night and Saturday morning services. I look forward to continuing my education by attending Hebrew High. In the next few years I hope I can pass my knowledge to the upcoming B’nei Mitzvah students by becoming a tutor. I would feel very honored to know I contributed to someone’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah. To me, being Jewish means more than attending services. It means connecting with my family through Judaism, the traditions that we build and practice all year.
For my Mitzvah Project, I will be a volunteer at Camp Soar. Camp Soar is a Special Olympics athletic retreat. This gives children and adults with special needs the opportunity to attend summer camp for free. This camp is held at the JCC. I have always loved Camp Mindy and I look forward to helping individuals with disabilities who want and deserve the chance to attend summer camp like others.
Rachel is the daughter of Amy and Kenny Kahn. She is the granddaughter of Lewis Koppelman, of New York, New York.
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May 18, 2013
Bar Mitzvah means son of the commandments. It means I will accept my responsibilities and do the commandments to my best ability. In Sheva I learned how to combine knowledge and to debate. While preparing for my Bar Mitzvah I learned to not procrastinate as much. I plan to continue on to Hebrew High, then Confirmation, and then Post-Confirmation and eventually Hillel in college. I want to be active in the Jewish community. I plan to be active in LIBERTY and I want to be a madrich in the religious school. Being Jewish means being different and special. It means following the commandments and knowing what they mean.
The day after my Bar Mitzvah is Mitzvah Day. There are several hundred people involved in 15 projects benefitting our community. My Mitzvah Project is planning the recycling for all of Mitzvah Day. I will be going from room to room in the Religious School building, the Temple, and the JCC collecting materials for recycling and reuse. David Czarlinsky and I started this last year, and I am continuing it as my Mitzvah Project.
Alexander Olinger is the son of Betsy and Scott Olinger, and the brother of Sam. Alexander is the grandson of Jerry Burnstein and the late Ellen Burnstein of Atlanta, GA and the late Fred and Jonette Olinger.
Words of mazal tov can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 1, 2013
Becoming a Bat Mitzvah is not something that I really thought about. My sister, father, and grandfather all became B’nei Mitzvah when they were my age. It is something that was expected. However, as I have attended Sheva and studied with the clergy I have found it is much more than that. I am excited about becoming part of the adult Jewish community. In addition to what I have learned about Judaism, through Sheva I have become more comfortable voicing my opinion. After my Bat Mitzvah I plan to continue my learning by attending services and celebrating the traditions.
For my Mitzvah Project I am volunteering with Take on Sports. Take on Sports enables special needs youth to participate in sports they otherwise would not be able to play. Personally, I am a buddy for an elementary school T-Ball player. It was fun to be able to help them with their sport and watch them have a good time. I fulfilled the mitzvah of removing a stumbling block from before the blind, and I look forward to doing it again, maybe even after I finish my project.
Carolyn is the daughter of Susan and Michael Blackman. She is the sister of Jessica, age 15. Carolyn is the granddaughter of Kenneth and Meryl Blackman of New York, NY and the late William and Jane Rosenau of White Plains, New York.
Words of Mazel Tov can be sent to: email@example.com
June 1, 2013
Sh' lach l'cha
I chose to become a Bar Mitzvah because of my grandfather. He survived the Holocaust as a little boy. He passed his Judaism down through our family, through my dad, my brothers, and now onto me. Now that I have seen my brothers become Bar Mitzvah, I thought of what it meant to my grandpa. I have learned a lot from Sheva class. I learned how to be a more connected member of our Jewish community by attending more services and studying my Hebrew at home.
Now that I am a Jewish adult, I will continue to attend services regularly and attend Hebrew High. I will also be a madrich for students preparing for their B’nei Mitzvah. I hope to keep up my Judaism by becoming confirmed. My older brother, Sam, got confirmed about two weeks ago on May 14. It would feel amazing knowing that I have confirmed my Judaism and that I will live that way for the rest of my life. Being Jewish to me is a way of life. I would feel something missing if I weren’t Jewish and did not become a Bar Mitzvah.
For my Mitzvah Project, I will be working with Alexander Youth Center. I will be helping emotionally and behaviorally challenged kids. I will help them learn how to play some games, work on some art activities, and make sure they have fun. It will have a positive effect on their lives as well as my own. I will fulfill the mitzvah of removing a stumbling block from before the blind, or helping those in need.
Peter is the son of Nicole and Bob Shelley, and the brother of Sam and Ben, ages 16 and 14. He is the grandson of Arlene and Peter Shelley, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and David and Beverly Reynolds, of Camdenton, Missouri.
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