Saturday, December 21
My favorite thing about being Jewish is the community that we have. Whenever I am at temple, or at the religious school retreat, and around my Jewish friends, I am always so happy and feel like myself. Being Jewish is a part of me that will never leave me.
To me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means growing up and becoming a Jewish adult. Being a Jewish adult means I am supposed to follow all the commandments and want to go to temple, not be forced to by my parents (even though my parents never had to force me to go). In this process, I learned that even though at one point I was nervous and scared for this day to come, the closer I got, the less stress I had for it, and I became more excited – my tutors and teachers and everyone who helped me get here helped me realize that.
My mitzvah project was feeding the homeless and helping those in need. For my birthday party, instead of having gifts I asked people to bring water and toothbrushes and things everyone needs, and we made blessing bags for those who are less fortunate and passed them out. Through that process, I learned that sometimes, helping other people find happy moments and seeing them happy is the extra step we need to find happiness ourselves.
To continue learning about Judaism and living with it, I will keep going to services, apply to be a madricha next year, and join Jewish youth organizations.
Eve Weiss is the daughter of Brian and Brooke Weiss. She is the sister of Hannah Rose and Sarah Helen Weiss. She is the granddaughter of Allen and Honorine Weiss of Jackson, MS and James and Ruth Gianelloni of New Orleans, LA, and Larry and Stephanie Hawke of Tuscon, AZ. Send notes of mazal tov.
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.
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.
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.
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.