Saturday, May 15
Saturday, May 22
Saturday, May 22
When people ask me what my favorite thing about being jewish is, I immediately think of the community. Whether it was at camp or at temple, everyone is so nice and it makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger. Becoming a bat mitzvah means taking one more step into this community. During the weeks of sheva leading up to my bat mitzvah, I have learned many things about myself. I have learned that being jewish is more than just the belief in god. I have also learned that many parts of my everyday life actually can connect with Judaism and its values. For my mitzvah project, I painted signs for the elderly community. I chose this project because painting is something I enjoy to do, but now, I get to make people happy while doing it. Especially during covid, many people have not been able to see family, and a handmade personal touch can go a long way. I am now able to feel like I have helped out people and be able to know I put a smile on their faces. After my bat mitzvah, I plan to keep immersing myself farther into the Jewish community. I will start going to NFTY events as well as being a madrahim for the Temple religious school.
Saturday, May 8
Saturday, May 1
One of the great things about being Jewish is the people. No matter where you go, there are always Jewish people who want to connect just because of being Jewish. When I went to 6 Points Sports Camp and was away from my family, it made me feel comfortable that we all had Judaism in common.
One thing I learned about myself as I was preparing for my b’nei mitzvah was that I’m a lot better at Hebrew than at English.
One important value in Judaism is caring for others. As a b’nei mitzvah, I focused on feeding people in our community. There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone but not everybody has access to the nutrients they need. To help address this unfairness, I organized a food drive for the JFS food pantry and learned to make lasagna and delivered lasagna to families who needed them through an organization called Lasagna Love. We also made challah for other Temple Beth El families.
Moving forward, I will continue to share food with those who need it.
Reese Ader is the child of Maggie Fogel and Harris Ader, the sibling of Hudson Ader, the nephew of Shira Fogel, and the grandchild of Elizabeth and James Shadoin, Pearl Ader, and Mimi Davis and Alex Fogel.
Saturday, May 1
My favorite thing about being Jewish is the holidays. I like the traditions and knowing our family takes the time to come together. One of my favorite memories from being at the Charlotte Jewish Preschool is eating Challah and drinking grape juice on Shabbat. I am still best friends with my classmates.
To become a Bar Mitzvah means gaining responsibility and the middle years between being a kid and becoming an adult. In preparing for my Bar Mitzvah I learned about what it takes to prepare for this day. I learned it takes a lot of persistence and practice. Going through Sheva during a pandemic was hard but it was worth it. The more I practiced and the more comfortable I became, I gained a sense of pride and accomplishment.
For my mitzvah project I worked on a few projects due to the restrictions of COVID 19. I worked with the Levine JCC teens on Mitzvah days to make sandwiches for the homeless shelter, make dog toys for the Humane Society and put together gift baskets for essential workers. It taught me that taking a small amount of time out of my day can have a big impact overall. I am also very proud to be a part of the South Carolina Turtle Rescue Team where I volunteer over the summer.
Haden is the son of Marisa and (step-son of) Jeff Jackson and the older brother to Owen and Avery. Haden is the son of Stephen Turnage. Haden is the grandson of Kenneth & Sherri Bell (Maryland), Joan & Tom Tatum (South Carolina) and Anita and Ralph Turnage (South Carolina).
Saturday, April 24
What I love most about Judaism is our community, and how everyone is so accepting. When it comes to where you come from and what you believe in, and race and sexuality, the Jewish communities I have been a part of have always been really open and welcoming.
This year, I have learned more about all of the prayers and what they mean – I especially like Hashkiveinu, because I think it’s an amazing way to say goodnight to everyone and close out the day. To me, becoming bat mitzvah makes me an official part of the community and is a result of a lot of hard work.
For my mitzvah project, I made challah as part of Challah Day. I love baking, and have made challah before, so this was a fun way to help out and contribute to the community I love so much.
Now that I am a bat mitzvah, I plan to continue living Jewishly by celebrating holidays at home and at temple, and celebrating Shabbat.
Amaya Blake is the daughter of Elana and Jason Blake. She is the sister of Jonas Blake. She is the granddaughter of Lynn and Avi Goldman of Palm Beach, FL and Debbie and Larry Blake of Cincinnati, OH.
Saturday, April 17