B’nei Mitzvah

June 2019

Jaden Auslander

Saturday, June 22

My favorite thing about being Jewish is being proud of our beautiful religion, culture, and heritage.  In my life, most of my friends aren’t Jewish, so when I talk about Jewish things, or invite them to Temple Beth El, it gives me a sense of uniqueness.  To further my Jewish life, I hope to attend Hebrew High through 12th grade.  As I continue to go throughout my Jewish life, I hope to join a Jewish fraternity in college, and teach my children when I become an adult.

My Bar Mitzvah project was Everybody Counts for Disability Awareness, a program that allows people to experience what it is like to have fine or gross motor impairments.  I chose this because it seemed like a great way to advocate for disabilities.  I learned that experiencing someone else’s reality can be a very powerful and educational experience.

To me, becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that you have become a Jewish adult.  You become mature and are seen as an adult in the eyes of the temple.  You are held to higher standards, and are expected to behave maturely.   When I entered Sheva, I realized that it connects to modern life.  I have enjoyed my year as a Sheva student and have discovered a newfound love of Jewish learning.

Jaden Auslander is the son of Dan and Jessica Auslander. He is the brother of Lillie and Nicholas.  He is the grandson of Robin and Cal Levy who live in Waxhaw NC, and Eta and Randy Auslander who live in Toledo, OH.  Send notes of mazel tov.


Luis Yaquian

Saturday, June 15

My favorite thing about being Jewish is eating falafel, especially the pita bread. I also like Israeli salad – tomatoes and cucumbers, plain and simple. I also like going to Temple because there are lots of fun activities to do here, like services, and Mitzvah Day, and hanging out with friends at NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) events. For me, becoming a bar mitzvah means being invited to be treated like an adult in the Jewish community. So far, this seems to mean helping out more often and going to lots of meetings.

In preparing for my bar mitzvah, I learned how important it is to practice and to do everything on time, which is something I have been working on recently. For my mitzvah project, I am working with the elderly – I think they’re cool and fun to hang out with. Once I become a bar mitzvah, I will stay involved with the Jewish community through NFTY, maybe BBYO, and by attending Hebrew High.

Jack Stein

Saturday, June 15 in Israel

I think my favorite part of being Jewish has to be the celebrations with friends and family, and well, um, the food (I could go on all day about the wonders of latkes and matzo ball soup!) Also, I it feels cool to be able to stand out and teach other kids about my religion as well. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah for me is kind of that first event that tells you that you are growing up. My Mitzvah Project will be volunteering at the Freedom School, however that will be July, so I can’t tell you about it yet. I do plan on continuing my Judaism as an adult by attending Hebrew High next year!

Jack Stein is the son of Eric and Laura Stein. He is the brother of Scott Stein, and the human owner of Shadow the dog. He is the grandson of Steven and Karen (who will be joining him in Israel for his Bar Mitzvah!) of New Jersey. Unfortunately, his other grandparents, Richard and Patricia, are not with us anymore to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Sophie Frank

Saturday, June 15 in Israel

My favorite part about being Jewish is the family, traditions, and food! My family makes me proud of being Jewish. I also love our traditions – all the way from singing HaMotzi at camp before we eat to singing the Shema right before bed. Also of course, food. Nothing makes me happier than mom’s haroset and my dad’s matzo ball soup for Passover and my dad’s famous dreidel cake every Chanukah! There are so many memories it’s hard to keep track. I just know that I am proud of being Jewish and want to keep our traditions as I grow up!

Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I just finished a big step in Judaism and I still have much more to learn and experience as I grow older. I have learned that anything you persevere through, you can do. Also I have learned to always be proud and never forget who I am. Just like my dad always says “Be kind, be smart, be Jewish!”

During Sheva next year I will focus on my Mitzvah project. I want to help children through an organization called Friendship Circle. The organization interacts with children with special needs. One of my favorite things is to make someone smile/laugh and brighten their day. I can’t wait to try out this project!

Through the rest of my journey as a Jew I will (of course) keep going to Jewish summer camp, participating in Shabbat services, and keeping our traditions.

Sophie is the daughter of Alain Frank and Audrey Afflerbach. She is the sister of Clara Frank. She is the granddaughter of Hugo Frank of Bodio, Switzerland and Cristina Bordoli-Tau of Zug, Switzerland and of Robert and Regina Afflerbach of Lynchburg, VA. Send notes of mazel tov.

Madison DeSantis

Saturday, June 1

I love being Jewish because of all the holidays we celebrate.  Chanukah is my favorite because I love singing the blessings when we light candles, eating latkes and playing dreidel with my brother.  Becoming a Bat Mitzvah is important to me because I am giving back to God all of the things he has given me.  As I’ve studied for this day I’ve learned that I am a lot better at Hebrew than I thought I was because it’s always been hard for me.  I also discovered that I know a lot more prayers than I thought I did.  Finding this out made me super happy because it made me feel more confident about being able to prepare more easily.

For my Mitzvah project I volunteered at the Sunrise assisted living center.  I chose this because not all of the older people get visitors so I wanted to make their days happier.  We played Othello, went on walks and planted some flowers.  I really liked doing this because they had a really good time and they liked the vibrant colored flowers that I brought with me.  Now that I am becoming a Bat Mitzvah I plan to continue coming to Temple on Friday nights and Saturday mornings as much as I can.  I’m going to bring some of my friends because they are interested in learning about Judaism and services are a lot of fun.

Madison DeSantis is the daughter of Adam and Susan Desantis.  She is the sister of Matthew DeSantis, the stepsister of Josh Miller, Brady Miller, Chris Miller and Chelsea Brown and the stepdaughter of Heather DeSantis.  She is the granddaughter of Ruth Katz of Long Island NY and Herb and Bonnie Katz of Scarsdale NY.  Send notes of mazel tov.

Nina Solar

Saturday, May 25

My favorite part about being Jewish is the family, friends, and food! During the Jewish holidays my family gets together and I have so much fun with them and they make me proud of being Jewish. I have met so many friends through Sheva and even when I was tiny at CJP. I have tons of great memories! I also love the food! Being Jewish means you get to feast on things like latkes, challah, and hamantashen!

Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I have embraced Jewish traditions and plan to continue to learn more. In Sheva and in the process of becoming a Bat Mitzvah I learned that I should be proud of my Judaism.

For my mitzvah project, I cheered special needs kids on before their performance with Playing For Others. I also spent some time clearing brush and picking up trash with the Parks and Rec Department at Colonel Beatty Park. My favorite part of my mitzvah project was collecting board books and presenting them to a wonderful girl named Lila, who has some medical complications. Seeing how happy she was to receive all the new books made me feel good. As I become a Jewish adult, I want to take on more responsibility in the Jewish community and pass on all the good food and traditions to my future family!

Nina is the daughter of David and Sara Solar. She is the sister of Aaron Solar. She is the granddaughter of Vicki Hopkins of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Send notes of mazel tov.

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