Giving to others and “tikkun olam” are both a big part of becoming a Jewish adult. If you are thinking about celebrating your Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel and really want to make a difference in the lives of others, consider taking part in a social action activity with one of these five phenomenal organizations. You will see that you receive far more than you give.
1. STANDING TOGETHER-Thank those who are truly protecting Israel
Want to personally say “thank you” to a soldier who is serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)? Connect with “big brothers or sisters” who are currently serving in the IDF. Bring a smile to a soldier’s face and set up a BBQ on their base. Distribute Mishloach Manot gift packets around Purim or doughnuts around Hanukkah time. Organize a fundraiser before you arrive and help purchase much needed winter apparel like gloves, hats, and neck warmers. Show Israel’s protectors that you appreciate their hard work and sacrifice. This is a great way to forge a relationship with the people of Israel, before, during, and after your tour.
2. NEVE MICHAEL CHILDREN’S HOME– Build Israel ‘s future
Neve Michael offers a safe haven for Israeli children at risk whose biological parents can no longer care for them. They provide these children with the best education and therapeutic care so that they can overcome their past traumas and develop into healthy and vibrant men and women.
Become part of the Neve Michael family by adopting one of home’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah children or celebrate your special day with a “fun day” at the home. Recently, a Mitzvah child shared the joy of her Bat Mitzvah to Neve Michael by arranging an event at the children’s home- complete with moonwalks, chocolate cake, and live music!
3. MAGEN DAVID ADOM (MDA)– Save lives in Israel
Magen David Adom (MDA) is the National Emergency Medical Service and the National Blood Services of Israel and operates as part of the International Red Cross. It is known for its high-tech, start-of-the-art facilities. MDA services include providing first aid and emergency medicine, collecting blood donations, offering training activities, and supplying humanitarian aid to the local and international community.
Magen David Adom will help make your special occasion memorable and unique by arranging a ceremony at the Western Wall and a catered celebration party at the newly completed MDA ambulance station in Jerusalem. There the Mitzvah child and family will be able to meet and connect with young Israeli volunteers, medics, and other MDA officials. Visit the largest blood bank in the Middle East, or take a short First Aid course to begin the process of becoming a volunteer on one of the ambulances. Share your Mitzvah experience with the heroes of MDA and help save lives in Israel.
4. LONE SOLDIER CENTER in Memory of Michael Levin z”l – Help lone soldiers no longer feel alone
In Israel, there are teenagers just a few years older than you, who come to Israel from around the world to defend Israel and the Jewish people. Their families live thousands of miles away. Who prepares Shabbat dinner at your house? Who makes sure you have clean clothes? Who do you turn to for a hug when your feeling down? Your family. Who takes care of Israel’s lone soldiers? You can.
Hosting lone soldiers at your Mitzvah reception or Shabbat dinner is a great way to show that you appreciate their sacrifice while learning firsthand from their experiences. Let them know that they are not alone, even though their families may be far away. If you are not hosting a reception or meal in Israel, then consider giving a lone soldier some encouragement by purchasing a new backpack filled with goodies for him to carry his belongings to and from base. It’s just a small gesture, but it will really help this soldier to know he is truly not alone.
When are you coming to Israel to celebrate your Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Where will you be volunteering? Tell us in the comments below.
Make the words “Next year in Jerusalem” a reality for you and your family. To book your Bar or Bat Mitzvah tour in Israel, call Israel Maven Tours at 1-866-317-9307 or send an email toInfo@IsraelMaven.com