Saturday, March 7
My favorite thing about being Jewish is the food and the connections you make with other people. We have some pretty great food, and I have met a lot of great people and friends through Judaism. To me, becoming a Bar Mitzvah means getting older and embracing my responsibilities. I have learned that services can be fun. With my Sheva class, all of our T’fillot (services) were fun and meaningful. My mitzvah project was running Sensory Friendly shows and Children’s Theater Charlotte. I chose it because I love theater and I think everyone should be able to see it. I will definitely continue doing it after my Bar Mitzvah. I plan to keep going to Sheva after this, go to Hebrew High, and go to NFTY events and Kallahs.
Toby’s parents are Mike Waller and Liz Waller. His siblings are Sam Waller and Andrew Waller. Granparents are Dan Reitman and Diane Reitman, from Savannah, GA. and Barb Waller and Gary Waller, from Ankeny, IA. Send notes of mazel tov.
Saturday, March 7
My favorite thing about being Jewish is having a separate group of friends who share my beliefs. To me, becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that I am now a respected adult in our community and I am equal to others around me in temple. In preparing for my Bar Mitzvah, I have learned that it is simple to learn complicated things if you are consistent and work hard. My mitzvah project was helping people through food. I mainly worked at the Hebrew Union College soup kitchen over the summer. I chose this project because I often see people on the street who seem to be in need of food, and this seemed like a good way to help. I felt like I was making a difference when I was handing out meals and treating people with dignity. I plan on making more traditions with my family as I become a Jewish adult.
Ethan is the son of Amy and Marc Andrews. His sister is Ayla Andrews. His grandparents are Lynne and Stuart Cojac of Charlotte and Kitty and Adolf Horer (OBM). Send notes of mazel tov.
Saturday, February 29
My favorite thing about being Jewish is being able to celebrate holidays with my family and eat food that I love with the people that I love. To become a Bar Mitzvah means that I start to take responsibility for my actions and become a more independent person overall. In Sheva I have learned more of what it means to be a Jewish adult and how to maintain Jewish traditions.
I did several things for my Mitzvah Project but the most meaningful one to me was serving food to sick people and their families at the Hospitality House in Charlotte. This was meaningful because it was amazing to see how happy the food made everyone and that was very rewarding. I will continue engaging in my Judaism by attending events with NFTY and going to more Friday night services.
Saturday, February 29
My favorite part of being Jewish is the community even though my attendance is not the best. I enjoy every time I get to go tutoring, High Holidays and Friday night services. When someone asks me “What is a Bar Mitzvah anyway?”, I tell them it’s a big ceremony and later there’s a party, but it’s more than that. It’s a once in a lifetime event and it is celebrating me becoming a man in Judaism. It also makes me step back out of my life and help others.
My mitzvah project was about senior citizens. This involves talking to them about their lives, walking with them getting the gains (that’s 13-year-old speak for “building muscle”). When I talked to them, I asked questions like: “What would you do differently if you got to be 13 again?” I got a variety of answers, but one – one was different. She said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Keep learning and growing”. That just stuck with me.
Moving forward in my Jewish adulthood, one thing I may do is Hebrew High and another thing I may do is BBYO (if you don’t know what that is, it is a group for Jews who come together and do fun stuff as teens).
Saturday, February 1
My favorite thing about being Jewish is feeling unique and special. The majority of people in my school and community are not Jewish. I get the opportunity to celebrate Jewish holidays, to learn how to read a different language that very few people in Charlotte know.
Becoming a Bar Mitzvah means that I have new responsibilities for being Jewish. This means that I am responsible for how I help people, for how I follow the commandments, for how I celebrate Jewish holidays and Shabbat services, and how I help my body and soul to grow into adulthood.
I have learned through Sheva that whatever I put my mind to I can accomplish and make some friends along the way. My mitzvah project was to help out at Friendship Trays, which is an organization that makes trays of food for those who are in need and cannot leave their homes. I chose this as my mitzvah project because I wanted to give back to the world. I plan to keep learning about Judaism by going to services and participating in Jewish life.
Jack is the son of Samantha and Adam Foodman and has two siblings, Parker and Asher. Send notes of mazal tov.