Considerations for Bat / Bar Mitzvah Projects

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As Jewish pre-teens approach their all-important Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration, they begin to reflect on the importance of social action and their participation in such programs. Mitzvah, after all, means “commandment” in Hebrew and many synagogues are requiring candidates to select Bar Mitzvah projects that will utilize their time and talents in order to make the world a better place.

How does one go about selecting a project? First, let’s consider the meaning of tikkun olam (repair of the world through human actions) and how it relates to our approaching simcha (joyous event). The concept of tikkun olam involves several factors including: volunteerism, helping the needy, and acts of kindness.

Jewish Images

Jewish Images

Now that you’ve thought about the meaning of tikkun olam and the commandments, you should ask yourself these questions:

1.  What are my talents?
2.  What do I enjoy doing?
3.  What is going on in the world that upsets me?
4.  Whom do I know that can assist me?
5.  Why should I do this?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, write down the answers on a note pad. Brainstorm with your parents and family. Do you see any trends that can steer you toward a meaningful project?

Above all, you may find it beneficial to keep this passage in mind: “One should use one’s face, hands, and feet to honor one’s Creator” (Tosefta Brachot 4:1).

In next week’s Mitzvah Monday blog, we’ll look at several ideas that may inspire you in your quest for a project that will be as helpful to others as it is rewarding to you.

Meanwhile, be sure to visit our Bar and Bat Mitzvah Invitation site for an outstanding collection of affordable invitations.