B’nei Mitzvah

June 2018

Mason Kendrick

Parashat Balak
Saturday, June 30

Sam Salam

Parashat Balak
Saturday, June 30

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Alexander Carmichael

Parashat Chukat
Saturday, June 23

My favorite thing about being Jewish is celebrating the holidays with my family. It is special to carry on the traditions that Jewish people have been celebrating for centuries. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is important to me because it means that I am taking on more responsibilities and is a big milestone to lead the congregation in prayer. It has taken a great deal of work to become a Bar Mitzvah and this taught me that I can achieve whatever goals I want to accomplish. Also, in Sheva, I have learned how I can lead a Jewish life and that is important to me.

I did a few different activities for my mitzvah project. First, I sang to the elderly in nursing homes. I was really surprised how happy it made the residents feel to have me sing for them. I really enjoyed making them smile. My second activity was preparing meals for the hungry people in Guatemala through Servants with a Heart. I was shocked how just a little bit of the right amount of food could provide nutritious meals for so many people. My last project was preparing and serving a meal to the people staying at the Hospitality House of Charlotte. It felt really nice to help people whose loved ones are in the hospital. I can’t imagine how stressful that must be for them and I was happy to help prepare a home cooked meal for them.

I plan to continue living a Jewish life by continuing to attend services and celebrate holidays with my family. Being Jewish is important to me and I plan to carry on the traditions with my own family one day.

Alex is the son of Melissa Coates and Chad Carmichael. He is the brother of Sabrina Carmichael. He is the grandson of Judy and Richard Coates of Waxhaw, NC and James Carmichael z”l and Shirley Carmichael z”l. Send notes of congratulations.

Nina Geller

Parashat Chukat
Saturday, June 23 in Israel

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the opportunity to learn another language on the pathway to becoming a Jewish adult. A good knish on the streets of New York is also a delicious part of being Jewish. I love the shared experience of a good Jewish meal and how it connects us as a culture and as a family.

To become a Bat Mitzvah means that I understand and accept my responsibilities as a Jewish adult. It is especially meaningful to me that I am becoming a Bat Mitzvah in Israel. Three years ago, I watched my brother, JD, become a Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem and it means so much to me to be following in his footsteps. The path to becoming a Bat Mitzvah has been a long one. Though I was overwhelmed at the start, with the help of my tutors I gained confidence and now I feel fully prepared for my Bat Mitzvah. I particularly want to thank Cantor Mary and Rabbi Klass for their time and patience.

For my mitzvah project, I volunteered to help at Brookdale Senior Living Center. By working there, I aided my Bubbe Elaine, who also lives at the center. I always think that the Bubbes and Zadies there are so adorable, and I enjoy spending time with them. The best part was putting a smile on my Bubbe’s face whenever I came into Brookdale. Since I am now a Jewish adult, I plan to continue living with Judaism throughout my life and carrying on the Jewish traditions in my future family.

Nina is the daughter of Daniela and Harley Geller of Charlotte, NC and the sister to Joseph. Nina is also the granddaughter of Elaine Geller of Charlotte, NC and the granddaughter to Rina and Antonino Russo of San Diego, CA. Send Nina notes of mazel tov.

Rachel Potier

Parashat Chukat
Saturday, June 23 in Israel

My favorite thing about being Jewish is all of the friends I’ve made and all of the experiences. I met my best friend at the Jewish preschool, and I’ve also made many other special friends through Hebrew school. I enjoy spending time with them, because we share something so great in common, being Jewish. I also love all the experiences such as Bat Mitzvah services/parties, and many of the fun holidays. To me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means “graduating” into Jewish adulthood. This process has made me more responsible and mature, by having to practice my prayers every day, even when sometimes I don’t really want to. I have learned that I can succeed at anything I want to as long as I put my full effort into it.

For my mitzvah project, I took my dog, Sadie to a nursing home/assisted living facility. There, we walked from room to room, allowing for seniors to meet and pet my dog. I chose to do this project, because my dog is so special and makes me so happy, therefore, I wanted to spread the love to people who truly needed it. It was amazing seeing the smiles from the seniors, and seeing the great joy that Sadie brought them. A few days after, I got an email from the nursing home stating that they had received a letter from a nurse saying that “they noticed a remarkable difference in one of the male residents while having a visit with Sadie”. This made me beyond ecstatic, because I had now known that meeting Sadie brought great joy and change in personality to a man that greeted her. In the future, I will keep learning about Judaism through attending services and events at the temple. I will also continue on with BBYO where I hope to learn and grow as a Jewish adult.

Noah Black

Parashat Korach
Saturday, June 16

My favorite thing about being Jewish is celebrating holidays like Hanukkah, Purim, and Passover.  During these times, my family gets together and makes special memories and carries on the traditions of my relatives before me.  To become a Bar Mitzvah means that I am growing up and having more responsibilities in the Jewish religion.  I will be treated more like an adult and will be expected to take ownership of how I practice and celebrate Judaism.  In preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, I have learned that there is so much meaning behind the prayers that I have been studying.  Although these prayers were written hundreds of years ago, they are still very relatable and have special meaning even today.

My mitzvah project focused on helping those in need, including collecting and making care packages of clothes, food and toys for the needy.  I chose this because I wanted to help people who are less fortunate than I am.  I am very thankful for the things that I have that others do not.  Although I am now a Bar Mitzvah, I know that my learning does not stop here.  I will continue to attend services at temple and serve as a role model for my brother as he prepares for his Bar Mitzvah.

Noah is the son of Leslee and Matt and the brother of Carter, the grandson of Paul and Lynette Diener of Raleigh, NC, Rona Black of Philadelphia, PA and Steve and Francee Black of Delray Beach, FL.  Messages of congratulations can be sent to his parents.

Lauren Loss

Parashat Korach
Saturday, June 16

I am becoming a Bat Mitzvah because it is Jewish tradition. I have been going to Hebrew school since the 3rd grade. I started out when I lived in Florida and when I moved to Charlotte in 2013, my family joined Temple Beth El and I started to attend Hebrew school here. Everyone in my family has become a B’nei Mitzvah so far. In the Fall, I plan on attending Hebrew High as well as continuing my Jewish Education.

For my mitzvah project, I was fortunate to do a couple of different things. First, I was able to lend my time to the South Charlotte Dog Rescue. It was so much fun to hang out with the dogs and make sure they go to the right “furever” homes. I also had the ability to help out with and organization called Bright Blessings. They help underprivileged and homeless children celebrate their birthday that they otherwise would not have been able to do. I am planning on continuing to help with both of these throughout the summer as well as help to teach gymnastics to children involved with Special Olympics at my gymnastics club. I am lucky enough to be able to train for competitions and I want to help those who need a bit of extra help.

Lauren is the daughter of Becca and Bill Loss and sister of Rachael (15).  She is the granddaughter of Wendy and Arnold Rosenthal of Boynton Beach, FL and Linda and Bill Loss of Niagara Falls, NY. Send words of mazel tov.

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