Posted on November 11, 2010
I had the pleasure of presenting this evening at North Shore Hebrew Academy to 65 6th graders and their parents about Mitzvah Projects. For my presentation I highlighted the different ways to include chesed in your celebration including volunteering, opening up a philanthropic fund, donating your centerpieces, using products from Israel and so much more. I also told them about students from throughout the country who have done innovative projects to add to their celebration while impacting the world. As I told the students and parents the most thing is to do a project, have it by in your area of interest and for it to be something you can continue well after your special day. Lucky for me I had followed Josh Hecht, an 8th grader at the school who spoke right before me.
Josh is impressive to say the least. He did an awesome project with Tikvot, an agency that helps rehabilitate Israeli soldiers wounded in military actions through sports. While in Israel he took the soldiers water skiing, hung out with them, gave them personalized hats and took them to a celebratory dinner. Josh and his family have continued on with his project and their involvement with Tikvot after his Bar Mitzvah, hosted them when they came to New York recently and inspired everyone with his example tonight. Josh is a wonderful example of what a Bnai Mitzvah Project is all about. Giving of yourself, helping others and on going communal involvement.
I want to thank Rabbi Jeff Kobrin, Middle School Principal for inviting me and Jeff for introducing me to Tikvot and for how powerful message.