Mitzvah Projects Mitzvah Project: We spoke to her about this special trip and what it meant to her.
How to choose a project Little things can have a big impact. A fallen acorn or seed can grow into a tree, which provides shade, shelter, and food for adorable woodland critters, helps clean the air and soil, and can provide people with lumber for homes, maple to yummy-up pancakes, and soft cedar for pencils.
And a small pencil can also have a huge effect — something that year-old Rachel Manheim delightfully found out when she decided to embark on a mitzvah project with an organization called the Pencil Project. We sat down with Manheim to find out how one girl from Rego Park, Queens can influence hundreds of kids in Malawi, Africa: Tell me a little about your project.
They said that they donated pencils to needy schools in countries around the world. We did some more research by going online and we contacted its founder, Maria Vick, who matched us with a contact in Africa who knew of two schools in Malawi that were in need of school supplies.
Did this project reflect your interests? I really like kids, education, and want to be a teacher when I grow up, so I felt that this was a perfect match. I like English, I like to write, and I also play the trumpet.
Plus, I knew I wanted to help in some way. I heard a lot of different stories about things people could do to help and I felt like my bat mitzvah was the perfect time to do something.
I wanted to look back on this experience and remember that I helped out someone while becoming a bat mitzvah. What was your goal? My initial goal was to get 1,—1, pencils.
We asked people in our congregation at our temple to donate pencils by setting up a donation box. Our rabbi [Rabbi Gerald Skolnik of Forest Hills Jewish Center] also wrote an article in his newsletter about my project, so more people would know about it and hopefully donate.
How many pencils did you end up collecting? My total was a little more than 3, pencils but we ended up getting a lot more thanks to Office Depot. How did Office Depot help? And they said they would actually pay for all the shipping! What was the most rewarding part of the experience?
A week or two after we shipped out the pencils, our contact sent us pictures of the kids at the schools getting the pencils and it was really cool to see.
What kind of advice do you have for kids who may not want to do a mitzvah project? So if you like sports, or even clothing, you can find a charity online where people can donate old clothing.Bat Mitzvah A Bat Mitzvah is a very special occasion that calls for something extraordinary.
You can turn your event into something more meaningful by Bat Mitzvah twinning with an orphaned girl in Israel. Personalized support from The Mitzvah Project team keeps you motivated and helps you stay on track throughout your project By providing the tools you need to rally your community and raise funds, My Mitzvah Project helps mitzvah candidates turn their ideas into action and impact.
Finding a mitzvah project is a family affair – most organizations require parental accompaniment for tween volunteers – and open to interpretation.
Present ideas to your child but let him or her take the lead. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a milestone, not a starting point or destination so choosing a project to nurture a longer term view of social good should start well before a “project”. Finding a mitzvah project is a family affair – most organizations require parental accompaniment for tween volunteers – and open to interpretation.
Present ideas to your child but let him or her take the lead. It has been the custom of many that when a girl enters adulthood and turns bat mitzvah she take on a bat mitzvah project in order to give to the community.
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