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B’nei Mitzvah

December 2018

Alexa Bullard

Parashat Mikeitz
Saturday, December 15

My favorite parts about being Jewish are being a part of a community that comes together to support each other, and the holidays and traditions that we have as Jews. In the Jewish community, I have noticed that everybody that I have met here is very kind and helpful. I noticed this when I started my bat mitzvah project, and some people I have never met before asked me how they could help. That meant a lot to me because it reminds me how everybody here will be glad to help you. I love the holidays we have as Jews (mostly Chanukah:). I love the holidays because they are always a very warm time, I would say. I love all of the foods we have, like latkes, brisket, and all of our other delicious foods. I always feel good around the holidays and I hope you all had a great Chanukah!

To become a bat mitzvah to me, means that I am passing into adulthood and taking on more responsibilities and choices that will guide me in my life. I can choose what I want to do in the Jewish community, if I want to keep kosher, how I can keep doing mitzvot, and many more things. As I make these decisions, it will guide me into what kind of person I will turn out to be. I am very excited to become a bat mitzvah.

Something I have learned when preparing for my bat mitzvah is that in the Torah, a lot of the words in there have the same tune, they are just chanted in a different order each time. I learned this when I was learning my Torah portion and Haftarah with the highlighting. I realized that the highlighting represents the words that have the same tune. That surprised me because I have never thought about that before.

For my bat mitzvah project, I decided to donate my time to help foster children. I did this by gathering essential things like duffel bags, toiletries, and blankets. We also gathered things for them to do like coloring books, journals and stuffed animals for the little kids. These kids are most likely in a very bad situation where they had no time to prepare to be removed from their family. These things are for them to get through their first couple of weeks when they may not have access to much. I also helped at the Childrens’ Home Society at the holiday party for foster families.

Now that I am a Jewish adult, I plan to keep helping out my community by continuing donating my time to helping people that need my help. I want to do this because it makes me feel good that I can help out the people that are less fortunate than we are. It is good to know that we can use our benefits to help others.

Alexa is the daughter of Debbie and Greg Bullard. She is the sister of Maia Bullard. She is the great granddaughter of Shirley Kamenetz from Greensboro, NC and the granddaughter of Fran Kaplan from Greensboro, NC and Sue and Carroll Bullard from Woodstock, GA. Send notes of mazel tov.

Harrison Cohen

Parashat Mikeitz
Saturday, December 15

My favorite things about being Jewish are the holiday traditions because of the great food and spending time with family. To me, becoming a Bar Mitzvah means becoming an adult and taking on new responsibilities (even if they are not fun responsibilities, such as chores). Preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, I have learned that after years of going to Hebrew school, I still have so much more to learn for my Bar Mitzvah. It also taught me that this is such an important milestone in my life and that I am going to remember it forever.

My Bar Mitzvah project was volunteering at an organization called Freedom School which helps families who are in need. Young children would read to me, and I would help them, so they could learn to be better readers. I also helped with family dinners that were hosted at the JCC. Another thing I volunteered for was making sandwiches for the Salvation Army families. I chose these projects because they both involve people who must worry about things that they should not have to worry about like if they have enough food to eat. What I got out of doing these things are the smiles and the appreciation of the people I helped. I plan to keep learning about Judaism by continuing Jewish traditions as an adult.

Harrison is the son of Bridget and David Cohen. He is the brother of Ava Cohen. He is the grandson of Howard and Roseann Cohen of Boynton Beach, Florida and Maureen and Arthur LaBrecque of Cohoes, New York. Send notes of Mazel Tov.


Lucas Atkins

Parashat Vayeishev
Saturday, December 1

Becoming a Bar Mitzvah means being an adult in the Jewish Community and taking Judaism into my daily life. I quickly figured out that becoming a bar mitzvah was a lot of work and I would need to practice every day. For my Mitzvah project I volunteered to help try to get dogs adopted by talking with people and holding the dogs. After I did this I felt good because I now know that these dogs deserve a home and they should not be treated poorly. I also volunteered at a youth basketball camp to help my coach train young kids.

My favorite part of being Jewish is my grandmother’s matzah ball soup. However, being Jewish means more than great food. Judaism includes doing good deeds, observing the commandments and mitzvot, and praying to God. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is giving me more responsibility as a Jew. I am going to continue being Jewish through my prayers, celebrations of the holidays with family, and learning.

Lucas Atkins is the son of Robin and Jim Atkins and the brother of Sonia. HIs grandparents, Harriet Hurlich of Charlotte, NC and Daniel and Carol Atkins of Winston-Salem. Send notes of congratulations.

Asher Nore

Parashat Vayeishev
Saturday, December 1

My favorite thing about being Jewish is that I am a part of the Jewish community which is so powerful together that we can do anything. The Jewish community is a beautiful community that is always supportive to each other and always happy to support those who aren’t Jewish.

To become a bar mitzvah means to me that I become a Jewish adult who is a responsible and trustworthy person. This could mean being responsible to make your lunch in the morning or washing dishes. Or it could mean bigger responsibilities like working at a job.

In preparing for my bar mitzvah I have learned parts of the Torah that I didn’t know what they meant in English. This has really helped me understand some of the Jewish history that I have never understood before.

My mitzvah project consisted of spending time helping teachers at my school and at my brother’s elementary school prepare their classrooms for the upcoming school year. I was happy to help these people and didn’t just do it just because I had to. I was excited to help the community and be a good change in the world. To keep learning from and living with Judaism, I will continue attending and participating in services.

Asher is the son of Seth Nore and Kimberley Odom, the stepson of Mandie Nore, and is the older brother of Levi Nore and Brantley Odom. He is the grandson of Linda Nore, the late Norman Nore, Gary Dromms, and Shirley Dromms, all of Charlotte NC. Send emails of Mazel Tov.

Maxwell Wine

Parashat Vayishlach
Saturday, November 24

My favorite thing about being Jewish is being part of a community. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is meaningful to me because it is like becoming a man. I have more responsibilities and my opinion counts more than when I was a child. In preparing for my Bar Mitzvah I learned that it takes a lot of commitment and bravery to be able to stand up and do a good job at leading the service.

My mitzvah project was collecting athletic equipment that I donated to Refugee Support Services. I chose this project because I am interested in sports and I knew that a lot of refugees often arrive in this country with very few possessions and probably without sports equipment. On the day that we made the donation, it felt really good to see the smiles on the faces of all of the kids and parents who received a ball. Thanks to donations of over $600 from friends and family, we gave away over 160 balls.

Now that I am an adult in the Jewish community, I plan to keep learning about Judaism by continuing with Religious School and Hebrew High and participating in events at the temple and JCC.

Max Wine is the son of Mark and Wendy Wine. He is the brother of Amanda and the grandson of Robert Wine of Shelby, NC and Allan and Linda Klepper of Barrington, RI. Send messages of Mazal Tov.  

Ella Mellone

Parashat Tol'dot
Saturday, November 10

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the food. I love when my mom cooks hamentaschen at Purim and latkes at Hanukkah. Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I have more responsibilities. I have to take on new tasks and try new things. While I was preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I have learned that it takes time and hard work to learn the blessings and the Torah portion. I plan to keep learning about Judaism and going to services on holidays.

For my mitzvah project I volunteered at Loaves and Fishes. People and organizations donate food to give to the homeless. I helped organize the food onto shelves. Then, I packed food into paper bags for those who need the food. It felt good volunteering at Loaves and Fishes because I got to help people in need. I also feel fortunate for what I have, feel responsible to help others.

Ella is the daughter of Melanie and Greg Mellone. She has an older brother, Josh. Send notes of congratulations.

Alexander Lewis

Parashat Chayei Sarah
Saturday, November 3

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the culture and the food. My favorite Jewish food is Matzah Ball soup during the Passover Seder. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is an important day in my life because it is the day I will be a grown up in the Jewish faith and shows that I worked to accomplish a pretty big thing.

For my mitzvah project I volunteered with the boy scouts for a local organization. A group of over 100 went to the houses of less fortunate people and helped fix things in their homes that were in need of repair because they couldn’t afford it or do the work themselves.  I worked on a woman’s home to help put new gutters on, did yardwork for and helped paint the inside of her house. She was a veterinarian before she retired and had some rough times.

After my Bar Mitzvah, I will continue to attend Hebrew High and be part of next year’s Confirmation Class. I look forward to learning about all the different religions in that class and going on the Confirmation Trip.

Alex and Ryan are the children of James and Beth Lewis and the siblings of Darien and Tyler Lewis. They are the grandchildren of Arnold and Beverly Rosenfeld of Indian Land, SC. Send messages of mazal tov.

See B'nei Mitzvah Archive