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B’nei Mitzvah Archive

December 2018

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.

November 2018

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.

Ryan Lewis

Parashat Chayei Sarah
Saturday, November 3

My favorite part of being Jewish is the food, specifically Matzah Ball soup and hard boiled eggs at Passover.  I also have enjoyed getting to meet so many new people at Hebrew School.  Becoming a Bar Mitzvah to me means becoming an adult at Temple, which means I will get to go to Hebrew High and take more interesting and fun classes.

My Mitzvah project was a service project I did with the boy scouts in Waxhaw. We helped people who needed to get their houses fixed but they don’t have the money to do it or they have other challenges that prevent them from doing it themselves. I got to go under someone’s house and help put new support beams under the house in the crawlspace. The woman I helped was very nice and appreciative of our help and talked to me about her life.

After the Bar Mitzvah I am looking forward to Hebrew High and making more Jewish friends.

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.

October 2018

Andrew Lord

Parashat Vayeira
Saturday, October 27

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the community. I have so many Jewish friends and have loved getting to know them. I also love my home away from home, Camp Coleman. I have made so many life-long memories at there and I hope to make many more.

To me, becoming a Bar Mitzvah means having a larger role in the community. As people treat me more like an adult, I also have a role in participating in services, learning, and helping those who are in need.

Perseverance is an important quality when learning Hebrew. Learning Hebrew requires patience and practice. Fortunately, I had help from teachers and tutors. But I also learned that I am capable of doing difficult things.

For my mitzvah project, I made sandwiches for the homeless shelter. I created a fundraiser, bought the supplies, and then gathered my friends to help me make the food. We made hundreds of sandwiches and bagged lunches with two sandwiches in each bag, a bottle of water, chips, a banana, and a cream pie for dessert. My mom and I then delivered the sandwiches to the homeless shelter.

I plan to keep learning about Judaism through Camp Coleman and Hebrew High. Going to Hebrew High will help me stay in touch with friends and keep learning about my religion as well. I plan to be an active member of our community.

Andrew Lord is the son of Annie and Harrison Lord. He has a younger sister, Hadley. Send messages of congratulations.

Nathan Moreland

Parashat Vayeira
Saturday, October 27

My favorite thing about being Jewish is being unique – I like that I am different from most of my friends at school and in the neighborhood.  I like celebrating the holidays and teaching people about them.  Becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that I am now more responsible for my own choices and that I am an adult in the eyes of the Jewish community.  The process of becoming a Bar Mitzvah has taught me that I can achieve what I want if I put my mind and efforts towards my goals.  It has helped me to becoming more responsible and to better manage my time.

For my Mitzvah Project, I volunteered with Room in the Inn, which provides housing and meals for the homeless.  I enjoyed helping others less fortunate and it made me realize how lucky my family and I are to have the privileges that we have.

I believe that religion is an important aspect of everyday life.  I will try to lead each day with the idea of Tikkun Olam in mind – looking at every part of my day with the thought of how can I help or make something into a better situation.

Nathan is the son of Ted and Lisa Moreland of Charlotte, NC.  He is the grandson of Ann and the late Rick Lippe of Pittsburgh, PA and Ellen Moreland and the late Ford Moreland of Pittsburgh PA.  Nathan is the younger brother to Quincey Moreland. Send words of mazel tov.

Ethan Dippold

Parashat Noach
Saturday, October 13

My favorite thing about being Jewish is being part of a community and celebrating holidays together.  I enjoyed being part of a “chavurah” growing up that celebrated Havdalah together once a month. Becoming a bar mitzvah means becoming a more responsible member of the community and giving back to that community. I enjoyed working with Jewish Family Services to meet the needs of members of our community and welcoming Shabbat with Jewish residents of the Carriage Club.

As I have prepared for my Bar Mitzvah I learned that I am able to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.  Learning my Torah portion was challenging but I persevered and accomplished my goal. As I become an adult, I look forward to creating my own Jewish community and finding ways to express my Jewish identity.

Ethan is the son of John and Talli Dippold. He is the brother of Anya and Sasha Dippold. He is the grandson of Esther Pollack of Beer Sheva, Israel, Mary Dippold of Bow, New Hampshire, and Joshua and Michal of Los Angeles, California. Send Mazel Tov messages.

Sasha Dippold

Parashat Noach
Saturday, October 13

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the sense of community and celebrating holidays with friends and family. Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I am taking on a bigger role in the Jewish community and giving back. The preparation for becoming a Bat Mitzvah has made me appreciate my surroundings more. For my Bat Mitzvah project, I collected and served food to the homeless. This experience made me realize that we need to work together to help others who are in need.

One of my favorite experiences is attending Jewish camp each summer.  Particularly, I love Shabbat at camp! Everyone wears white and honors the holiday with songs and a festive meal, including the famous Apple Brown Betty. My favorite part is when all of the counselors surround us and bless us all.

As an adult, I look forward to continuing the traditions that I learned at home and at camp by creating a Jewish home and being part of a Jewish community.

Sasha is the daughter of John and Talli Dippold. She is the sister of Anya and Ethan Dippold. She is the granddaughter of Esther Pollack of Beer Sheva, Israel, Mary Dippold of Bow, New Hampshire, and Joshua and Michal of Los Angeles, California. Send Mazel Tov messages.

Hannah Benson

Parashat B'reishit
Saturday, October 6

My favorite part about being Jewish is the sense of community. Everyone this there for one another to support and uplift each other through the good and bad times. To me becoming a Bat Mitzvah means gaining to responsibilities and experiences. Now that I am an adult I must take on new task that are difficult, and I get to try new things. In preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I have learned that it is important to have a group of people who support and help you when you are struggling. I have also learned that I am a little bit of a procrastinator.

For my mitzvah project I volunteered at loaves and fishes and helped make sandwiches for the homeless. I choose this project because I know that I am fortunate and I want to give to those who are in need. Though I have completed this journey, I plan to keep learning about Judaism. I will do this by coming to services, taking in part in one of the youth groups, and Hebrew High.

My parents names are Tara and Doug Benson, and I have one sibling named Emily Benson. My grandparents are Mark and Stefanie Benson, they live in Rockland County, New York. My other set of Grandparents are Jeanette and Spencer Chapman and they live in  Edwardsville, Illinois. Send messages of Mazal Tov to Hannah.

Lilly Pesakoff

Parashat B'reishit
Saturday, October 6

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the food. I love the challah at Shabbat, the hamantaschen on Purim, and all of the other amazing meals. To me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I am considered an adult in the Jewish community. I get all of the same privileges as all of the other adults such as being able to have Aliyah to the Torah, light the candles at Shabbat, being able to fast on Yom Kippur, and being able to take responsibility for my actions.

While preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I have learned that the Jewish culture and religion is very important to me. It is an important step in life to become a Bat Mitzvah. For my mitzvah project, I made pillows for kids at Freedom School for their reading time. I chose this because I wanted to make their reading time better and more enjoyable for them because I love to read. I learned that I am very lucky to have all that I have. I plan to keep living with Judaism by going to Temple on holidays and to keep learning.

Lilly is the daughter of Beth and Bobby Pesakoff. She is the middle sister of Sophie and Ruby. She is the granddaughter of Diggie and Lee Pesakoff and George Johnson of Charlotte, NC and the late Julie Honey of Cary, NC. Send a Bat Mitzvah Mazal Tov.

September 2018

Sam McRary

Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot
Saturday, September 29

My favorite thing about being Jewish is that I am very unique. I also really enjoy celebrating holidays like Hanukkah and Passover. My family creates special memories during the holidays. I love a lot of the Jewish food like challah and the falafel at camp. Becoming a Bar Mitzvah, means that I have to take responsibility for my own actions. I am going to be an adult in the Jewish community, and be able to make a bigger change in the world.

For my mitzvah project, I decided to help out at Sterling Elementary School. I like to help people that are not as fortunate as I am. I love to help people and I want to make a difference in the world. We collected tons of school supplies for Sterling Elementary, since a lot of the kids that go there, cannot afford to buy their own supplies. We are also reading to some of the Kindergarten kids, as well as doing other projects to help out at the school.

Congratulations to my sister for becoming a Bat Mitzvah. She was a great partner, and is an amazing twin sister. It was fun working with her on this, even if she was difficult at times. Just kidding. After my Bar Mitzvah, I will keep going to services and helping out in the Jewish Community. I will also keep going to 6 Points, a Jewish sleep away camp.

Sarah and Sam are the children of Robert and Naomi. Send notes of congratulations.

Sarah McRary

Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot
Saturday, September 29

My favorite part about being Jewish is that I get to stand out, and be different than everyone else. I also enjoy learning about the history of Judaism and celebrating the Jewish holidays. My favorite holiday is Hanukkah because I enjoy lighting the candles each night and I love eating latkes. For me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I am growing up and I can soon start to make my own decisions. I am also becoming more independent and I have more responsibilities.

For my mitzvah project, we collected school supplies for Sterling Elementary. I chose this as my mitzvah project because I know everybody is going back to school around this time, and that most people get to go shopping for new school supplies for the upcoming year. But there are many kids who don’t get that privilege. I wanted to make some students happy by giving nice, new school supplies so they could be successful throughout the year. Doing this taught me to be grateful for everything that I have because many people overlook how lucky they are and I am going to start thinking about that in my everyday life.

Mazel Tov to Sam on becoming a Bar Mitzvah. I loved having my twin brother as my partner throughout this process. After my Bat Mitzvah, I want to help prepare others to do just what I did today, because I know I could not have done this without all of the tutors who helped me. I will continue to learn about Judaism in Sheva. I will also continue to go to Camp Coleman, where I can learn more about my religion, while having lots of fun with my friends.

Sarah and Sam are the children of Robert and Naomi. Send notes of congratulations.

Logan Berger

Parashat Haazinu
Saturday, September 22

My favorite thing about being Jewish is all of the special holidays that we celebrate. To me becoming a bar mitzvah is putting together everything I that learned through Hebrew school and practicing Torah and reciting prayers to achieve this significant milestone in my life and Judaism. While studying for my bar mitzvah, I learned a lot more about what the different prayers mean and more about our Jewish tradition.

For my mitzvah project, I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House provides families a place to call home so they can stay close to their hospitalized child or children at little to no cost.  We bought food, cooked, and served meals to families who were staying at the Ronald McDonald House. I felt really good about helping these families and I could see the smiles on their faces. What I got out of my experience was that a few people can make a big difference in other people’s lives. After my bar mitzvah, I plan to continue being Jewish by attending services, celebrating Shabbat, living life as instructed by God in the commandments, and remaining active at the JCC.

Logan is the son of Amy and Seth Berger. He is the older brother of Colin Berger. He is the grandson of Ferne and Bill Berger from Boca Raton, Florida and Cindy and Jenelle Lizotte from Tupper Lake, New York. Send messages of mazel tov.

Olivia Patt

Parashat Haazinu
Saturday, September 22

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the sense of connection in the Jewish community. Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I am committing myself to Judaism for my adulthood. While preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I have learned that I can do anything I set my mind to.

My mitzvah project was with Freedom School. I volunteered with kids whose parents can’t afford childcare and will most likely be left at home for the summer. Many of these children are at risk of loss of academic skills. I read with some kids, I helped at book fairs, and volunteered at a family game night. I also did some volunteer hours for the Ronald McDonald House by making get well cards and making welcome packages.

Now that I am a Bat Mitzvah, I plan on teaching my siblings about Judaism and teaching them how to read Hebrew to keep on learning and living with Judaism.

Olivia is the daughter of Joshua and Rhonda Patt. She is the sister of Eliana and Brayton. She is the granddaughter of Althea and Richard Patt of Castle Rock, Colorado and Elaine and Fred Pennington of Charlotte, North Carolina. Send messages of mazel tov.

Konur Handy

Parashat Ki Tavo
Saturday, September 1

My favorite thing about being Jewish is probably the people because most of the Jewish people I meet are nice kind people and they care about each other, and it’s nice to be part of a people like that. I also like the food. For me, becoming a bar mitzvah means having more responsibilities because to become a bar mitzvah means to become an adult. As a kid, you kind of expect your parents do most things for you – but as an adult you do most things for yourself. Even though I’m not going to be an actual adult because I still won’t be able to drive or go out on my own and I’m only 13, going through this process means beginning to do more things for myself.

In preparing for my bar mitzvah, I’ve learned that I pick up languages quicker than I thought I would. I’ve also learned that this was a harder process than I thought it was going to be – and that I can still do it.

For my mitzvah project, I taught activities at cub scout camp. Back when I was a cub scout and I saw the staff, it looked like it would be fun to teach kids like me – I wanted to know enough to be able to help teach other kids. Participating in this project allowed me to do that! It was a good feeling to help kids learn how to do cool things safely. After my bar mitzvah, I plan to keep coming to services, and I am signing up for Hebrew High!

Konur Handy is the son of Sandra Layman and Rob Layman. He is the grandson of Marlyn Watson of Charlotte, North Carolina and Hadley Watson of Paducah, Kentucky. Send notes of mazel tov.

August 2018

Zachary Katz

Parashat Ki Teitzei
Saturday, August 25

Throughout my childhood my parents have instilled Jewish values within me. These include an emphasis on family, community, traditions and beliefs. Judaism teaches me to value my education and that it is important to be a positive influence on my friends and family. Judaism teaches me that it is my responsibility to try and make the world a better place. My bar mitzvah is the most significant event in my life so far. It means I am responsible for my own actions, and that I have more responsibility in the Jewish community. During my bar mitzvah studies, I learned that I don’t really like to sing but I enjoy learning more about my religion and the history of the Torah. I also learned some valuable life lessons including the value of helping those in need.

For my bar mitzvah project, I chose to stuff and give backpacks full of school supplies to Camino Community Center. I chose this project to help the less fortunate people in Charlotte get the supplies they need to go to school. During my studies, I realized the importance of education and I wanted to make it possible for all kids to get a quality education. As I get older, I hope to continue my Jewish education and continue to live by the Jewish values that are such a big part of my life.

Zach is the son Seth and Crystal Katz. He is the brother of Isabelle and Alex. His grandparents, Rita and Alan Katz of Wilmington, NC and Kay and Marshall Duncan of St. Petersburg, FL. Send notes of congratulations.

Luke Zolotorofe

Parashat Ki Teitzei
Saturday, August 25

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the food. When I visit NYC, hamantaschen is the first food I look for, and I like challah anywhere. Becoming a bar mitzvah means that I have more responsibility and freedom. I am now considered a “man” in the Jewish community and I am trusted more. During bar mitzvah tutoring, I learned the importance and meaning of each prayer. Before this, I had no clue what the prayers meant and I would chant them for no reason.

For my mitzvah project, I went Uptown and made chili cheese dogs with The Dream Center. My family and I constructed over one hundred hot dogs with chili on top. Afterward, another set of volunteers distributed them to homeless people in Charlotte. We helped out so many people by doing an easy task. It felt good after we did it and we are definitely going back to help out again soon. I also spent a week volunteering with K through second-graders, helping them improve their basketball skills. I enjoyed working with the kids more than I expected.

I  plan to keep learning about Judaism in the future by enrolling in BBYO this year. Many people I know love it, and it is a way to keep me in touch with Judaism.

Luke is the son of Nancy and Marc Zolotorofe. He is the brother of Sydney. He is the grandson of Nannette and the late Lewis Zolotorofe of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Patricia Houghton-Rones and the late Arnie Rones of Mineola, New York. Please send notes of congratulations.

Emma Paige Miller

Parashat Shoftim
Saturday, August 18

My favorite thing about being Jewish is learning about the history of Judaism and celebrating the religious holidays. My favorite holiday is Hanukkah because I enjoy lighting the candles each night and reciting the prayers. I also love the delicious foods especially latkes and jelly doughnuts!

Becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that I am an adult in the Jewish community.  As a result, I will take on more responsibilities and further my Judaic studies. I am looking forward to learning more about Jewish history and growing my ability to read Hebrew. While on my journey to becoming a Bat Mitzvah, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned the meaning and value of hard work. I learned that through study and preparation, I can read Hebrew. I have also learned that as a member of the Jewish community, it is a mitzvah to help others that may be less fortunate than me.

For my Mitzvah Project, I decided to help the homeless. I was inspired to do this after participating in the “Walk in My Shoes” Girl Scout event, where I experienced what members of the homeless community in Charlotte, North Carolina have to go through in order to survive. To help make a difference, I started a club at Community House Middle School called “The Homeless Helpers Club.” At this club, that meets weekly, my friends and I make sandwiches to donate to The Urban Ministries Center to help the homeless not go hungry. We also make cards to give to the homeless, in order to provide some inspirational and kind words to help them work through their situation. I also volunteered at Temple Beth El’s Mitzvah Day. During this event, my family and I volunteered to help organize the food pantry. We also made bags of food to help the students that attend The Freedom School over the summer. Each bag, filled with the ingredients for a dinner, went home with one of the summer camp kids. The Freedom School is a camp for children that are less fortunate. These students attend camp at Temple Beth El and have the opportunity to continue their learning while making new friends. The reasons why I decided to do these projects is because I love to help people and I want to make a difference in the world. I believe that everyone deserves to have the necessities in life, like shelter, plenty of food, and some warm, quality clothing. Through this project I have learned that many people may not be as lucky as I am. I am blessed to have a warm home, plenty of food, clothing, books and materials for school, electronics, and money. I have learned that I should appreciate what I have.

After my Bat Mitzvah, I plan to continue my studies by going to Sheva, attending services and become an active member of the Temple. I would like to help future Bar and Bat Mitzvah students with their preparations and I would like to continue helping the less fortunate by donating food to the food pantry or by volunteering at Urban Ministries.

Emma Paige is the daughter of Barry and Danielle Miller. She is the granddaughter of Bernie and Carol Miller of Monroe Township, New Jersey; granddaughter of the late, Andrea Quartararo, of Reston, Virginia; and grand niece of Jim and Alicia Bendernagel of Reston, Virginia. Send notes of congratulations.