Saturday, August 24
My favorite thing about being Jewish is all of the special holidays that we celebrate. Discussing the meaning of the holidays each time reignites my excitement about my religion. Also, being Jewish gives me a sense of community and belonging and reminds me that no matter where I go in the world, all Jewish people welcome each other with open arms. Becoming a bat mitzvah is the culmination of Hebrew school, Sheva and studying the Torah. With all this knowledge, I can now move forward into adulthood with a greater love of Judaism. As a Jewish adult, I will continue to remind myself of the importance of being Jewish and to keep it close to my heart.
The most obvious reason I chose my mitzvah project is my love of sports, specifically basketball. I have been so fortunate to receive group and private training year round as well as play on a travel team and my school team. Many children are not as lucky. Therefore, together with my travel team coach, Coach Randall, I helped less fortunate kids become better basketball players by training them with all the knowledge that I have been given. It made me happy to see their faces when they got the lay up right or make a foul shot. I hope to continue volunteering, as I get older.
Delanie is the daughter of Richard and Caren Hill. She is the sister of Bayleigh and Ethan Hill. She is the granddaughter of the late Jack and Marlene Levins of Great Neck, NY as well as Eleanor and the late Benjamin Hill of Peabody, MA. Send notes of mazal tov to Caren Hill and/or Richard Hill.
Saturday, August 17
My favorite thing about being Jewish is celebrating the holidays, and of course the food. I love getting together with my family to celebrate the Jewish holidays such as Passover and Chanukah. Some of my favorite Jewish foods are challah French toast, and my grandma’s delicious Matzo ball soup. To me, becoming a bat mitzvah means becoming a Jewish adult and taking on more responsibilities in my everyday life.
For my mitzvah project, I chose to work with the elderly at Oasis Senior Enrichment Program. While volunteering at Oasis, I did arts and crafts with the seniors, helped them with their technology, and learned and played games with them. Volunteering there, I got to meet and get to know a lot of kind people. It was so fun to go and hang out with them and I made lots of new friends. They taught me to live life to the fullest and to enjoy everything I do. Now that I am a bat mitzvah, I am going to continue practicing Judaism by continuing to observe and celebrate the Jewish holidays, go to services, and I am going to continue to work with the people at Oasis.
Molly Houser is the daughter of Alison Houser and Lindsey Houser. She is the sister of Jack Houser. She is the granddaughter of Cindy and Richard Schneider of Sun City, South Carolina and Richard and Jane Anne Houser of Annapolis, Maryland. Send notes of mazal tov.
Saturday, August 10
My favorite part of being Jewish is participating in services because when I do, I always feel connected to all the other people in the room and I just feel more alive during services. Becoming a Bat Mitzvah shows me that I have grown through my Jewish education, even though there is more education to come. It doesn’t tell me that I am an adult, it tells me that in Jewish settings I can feel like an adult, from helping in services to everything else. Going through all my Bat Mitzvah training, I have learned that I’m a lot more patient than I thought.
My mitzvah project was serving as a junior counselor at Camp K.C, my summer camp. I chose to be a junior counselor at Camp K.C. because the camp is like my second home and I’ve always wanted to be a helper there. I also am a year round volunteer at the Temple Beth El gift shop. I went on three offsites with the gift shop and have always helped out during the religious school year. I plan to keep going to services as much as I can and celebrating all the Jewish holidays throughout the year to keep Judaism in my life.
Emily Schenkel is the daughter of Merril and Richard Schenkel. She is the sister of Jonathan Schenkel. She is the granddaughter of Jeffrey and Susan Rettig of Charlotte, NC. Send notes of mazal tov.
Saturday, August 3
My favorite thing about being Jewish is learning a different language, the culture and the food. I also like how we can ask questions about everything, like God, the stories in the Torah and more.
To become a Bat Mitzvah means that you are transitioning to adulthood. That means more responsibilities, a little bit more freedom, and most of all, you get to choose about being Jewish. During Sheva, I liked learning about respecting people of different faiths and those who have different backgrounds.
My mitzvah project was making bags of food and dinner for the homeless at Room at the Inn. We also cleaned up and made the beds after they left the JCC. I choose to do this for my mitzvah project because it goes with my Torah portion, how we should help people who are in need or that are less fortunate than us. What I got out of my mitzvah project was that we forget about people who are less fortunate than us, and we take our own lives for granted. For example, always wanting more of stuff. Even though we have all that we need, we still want more. We still spend our money on things that we don’t even need. We need to really think about how we should use our money and make wise decisions about how we are or what we are spending it on.
After my Bat Mitzvah, I plan to still go to Friday night services and learn more about our culture, and what we believe in. I’m going to celebrate the holidays and have a Shabbat dinner sometimes. I’m also going to Hebrew High next year and I plan on being a madricha in the Religious School.
Emily is the daughter of Eric and Tracey Lederer. She is the sister of Mia Lederer. She is the grandaughter of Dale Lederer of Charlotte, Pam Murtland of Beech Mountain, NC and Martin Lederer of San Diego, CA. Send notes of mazal tov.
Saturday, August 3
My favorite things about being Jewish are the holidays, food and the culture. I love celebrating the holidays because it is a happy time of year to get together with friends and family. I also enjoy the food! My favorite is matzo ball soup and I could eat it for all of my meals! It is fun for me to learn about new cultures of other places, but even more important to learn more about Judaism.
To me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means I am more independent. When you are younger your parents do a lot for you but becoming a Bat Mitzvah means taking a large step towards adulthood. It also means you can continue more advanced Jewish education, and experience more outside your comfort zone.
Sheva and my preparation for my Bat Mitzvah has taught me a lot about myself as a Jewish person. Through Sheva I have learned about different ways I portray myself. I learned that there are different “faces” of each person. This means that what you see on the outside may not be the same person on the inside. We learned about how to be confident about our identity and being Jewish.
One of my mitzvah projects was bringing food to the homeless. I decorated, and packed food bags for people staying at Room at the Inn and cleaned up after their stay. I chose this because I think it is important that everyone on this Earth should have a home. It is unfair to me that we are destroying trees to build houses, but there are too many houses and not enough people in them. I understand the struggle of the people I visited went through, and it is sad to think that some people have to go through this. I want to continue doing things like this and giving people hope for a better future. I also had a wonderful time spending Shabbat with the Jewish seniors at Sunrise Assisted Living.
I would like to continue my Jewish education. I plan on going to Hebrew High next year, being a madricha, and maybe soon I’ll get to travel to Israel.
Mia is the daughter of Eric and Tracey Lederer. She is the sister of Emily Lederer. She is the grandaughter of Dale Lederer of Charlotte, Pam Murtland of Beech Mountain, NC and Martin Lederer of San Diego, CA. Send notes of mazal tov.
Saturday, July 27
My favorite thing about being Jewish is learning how our ancestors kept our religion alive and how they helped us get to be here today. I also love how we celebrate the holidays with all my family, and of course delicious food. But most of all, I love how being Jewish is all about passing traditions down from one generation to another. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that I am becoming a Jewish adult. I now have responsibilities to my faith and my community.
For my mitzvah project I am going to be working with an organization called Sandbox. It’s an organization where I volunteer my time to help out families that have children with severe illnesses. I chose the Sandbox because I have seen first-hand what this organization does to help those in need. They have come out several times to my neighbor’s house to work on their house, (painting, yard work, etc.) while they were in Philadelphia with their daughter who right now is at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). As I get older, I plan to keep Judaism close to me by attending services, celebrating Shabbat and the other Jewish holidays. I also plan to become a member of AZA.
Dylan is the son of David and Ruthanne Effren. He is the brother of Joey Effren. He is the grandson of Donald and Shiffie Effren, Yvonne Amato and Cheryl Effren, all of whom live in the Charlotte area! Send notes of mazal tov.