B’nei Mitzvah


Oliver Halverstam

Chayei Sarah
Saturday, November 23

My favorite things about being Jewish include spending time with family on Jewish holidays and eating very good food, especially my Mom’s food.  To me becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that I have new responsibilities in my community. I know I need to be more responsible.

While studying for my Bar Mitzvah, I have learned that preparing for big things can be difficult but going through this experience has made me a better person and more appreciative of being Jewish.

For my Mitzvah Project, I decided to work at Friendship Trays. Friendship Trays is an organization that provides cooked food for people that are not able to get out of their house. We make sure that the homebound are able to have good meals, every day. Through volunteering I met many different kinds of people that I may not have met otherwise. Many had special needs, and some had other issues including not being able to find job so they could support themselves.   I plan to keep active in Temple Beth El and in the Jewish community by becoming a madrich in the Hebrew school. I also plan to learn more about Judaism through my parents, Grandparents and being active at Temple.

Oliver is the son of Andrew and Jill Halverstam and the brother of Ivey. Send notes of mazal tov.

Alison Berliner

Lech L'cha
Saturday, November 9

Celebrating Chanukah is my favorite thing about being Jewish, because I get to spend time with my family and I get to sing the blessing when we light the candles. I also like latkes. I enjoy going to Saturday morning services because I know all of the prayers and the tunes to go along with them, so I am able to fully participate in the service.

I am looking forward to becoming a Bat Mitzvah because it is a day I get to share with all of the important people in my life. It feels good to be able to stand in front of the community and know that people trust me enough to lead them through the service.

One of the things that surprised me during my bat mitzvah preparation was how much I ended up liking services. In the beginning, I didn’t think I would enjoy going to services, but as I continued going to tutoring, it got better, and I got better, and I was able to participate more and more, and it got more fun.

For my Mitzvah Project, I volunteered to read with the little kids at Freedom School. At first I didn’t think I’d have fun with them, but as I got to know them, and realized that I could relate to them about all sorts of things, I ended up having a good time. I also learned how to be better at communicating – the longer I was there, the more comfortable I became interacting with the scholars, which made it easier to communicate and motivated me to keep coming back.

Now that I am a Bat Mitzvah, I plan to continue my Jewish education by celebrating holidays, coming to services once in awhile, and I am considering joining a youth group!

Alison is the daughter of Adam and Shannon Berliner. She is the sister of Carolyn Berliner. She is the granddaughter of Adrienne and Alan Berliner, and Linda Church, who all live in Florida. Send notes of mazal tov.

Jessie Adams

Lech L'cha
Saturday, November 9

My favorite thing about being Jewish is the way all Jews see each other as family. I love that everyone includes people who aren’t family and are all very supportive and loving. I also love the food.

Becoming a Bat Mitzvah is something I’ve always been looking forward to. To me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means that you are a grown up and have more “grown-up” responsibilities. Even though I don’t think it’s possible to instantaneously become a Jewish adult, I think the whole process shows that you are responsible, especially if you are well prepared.

While preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I went to Sheva. In Sheva, I think I learned that I am really sensitive and thoughtful. I mean that whenever I do something, I always put my whole heart into it and make it as amazing as I can.

For my mitzvah project, I met with migrants seeking asylum in America at a bus stop. They have been traveling for such a long time so I prepared bags with basic necessities for them to keep for their journey. The bags had food, water, toiletries, socks, and news articles.

Throughout the process, I learned to not take what I have for granted. Personally, I’m always wanting new things. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes or paint supplies or whatever I might want, meeting the buses helped me realize that I really didn’t appreciate what I had. These migrants have the clothes on their back and maybe a small bag. They don’t have new shoes or paint supplies but they are trying their hardest to make a new life for themselves in America.

After I become a Bat Mitzvah, I will continue my Judaism by attending temple, celebrating holidays and living my life while keeping the Torah and Commandments in mind.

Jessie Adams is the daughter of Tracey and Josh Adams. She is the sister of Abby Adams. She is the granddaughter of Josie Adams of North Carolina and Sigrid Schatvet of Connecticut. Send notes of mazal tov.

Jacob Schwartz

Saturday, November 2

My favorite thing about being Jewish is that there are not a lot of Jewish people so we are a very close community.  Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is important because it means I have become a Jewish adult and have to follow all of the Jewish laws and commandments.  Preparing for such a big event is a lot of hard work.  This process helped me improve my time management skills and work more efficiently.

For my mitzvah project, I volunteered at Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts as an apprentice.  I chose this project because I like theater and working with children, so the apprenticeship was a win-win. I learned how to lead a group through a day of rehearsal and I also learned what it is like to be at the bottom, doing jobs no one else likes to, like taking out the trash.

Now that I am a Bar Mitzvah, I plan to continue my Jewish education by attending Hebrew High.

Jacob Schwartz is the son of Marsi and Jeff Schwartz and brother of Zachary and Joshua.  He is the grandson of Kenneth and Gail Goldberg of Charlotte, NC and Elliott and Marjory Schwartz of Indian Trail, NC.  Send notes of mazal tov.

Kyle Katz

Saturday, November 2

My favorite thing about being Jewish is learning about interesting stories about our history and ancestors.  Learning these stories made it more interesting for me to go to services and Hebrew school. What I love most about these stories is getting to tell all my little cousins and also even older people about them!

Becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that I’m going to have to make mature decisions and also become a role model for younger kids that look up to me.  The thing I learned while studying for my Bar Mitzvah is that I’m very hard on myself and that if it’s not perfect, I have to do it again and again.

My mitzvah project was getting food and supplies for foster children.  I chose this project because my Pop Pop does something similar for Hope Street Food Pantry.  The most important thing I learned was to always be grateful for what I have and for the people that love and take care of me. I realized how lucky I am that I have a family that loves me.

After my Bar Mitzvah I plan to participate in Hebrew High and BBYO which will let me spend more time with my friends and learn more about Hebrew and the stories I have not learned yet.

Kyle is the son of Ken and Kim Katz. He is the brother of Alex Katz. He is the grandson of Lita Katz and Sidney & Susan Doobrow of Charlotte, North Carolina. Send notes of mazal tov.

See B'nei Mitzvah Archive