14 Sep MITZVAH MANIA
Ok, your child is having their bat or bar mitzvah and everything is in place. You want them to
continue with tradition of doing mitzvahs and set a good example that the celebration will not
just be about the party. A mitzvah project is the responsibility of every Jew at this time. They
should be encouraged to use this opportunity to define their interests.
Your child may be going to bar mitzvahs every weekend and you want to stand out with their
project. You want it to be unique for them and special.
SO… First, when choosing a project
start by asking yourself these questions:
1. What am I good at?
2. What do I like to do?
3. What bothers me so much about what is wrong in the world?
4. Whom do I know?
5. Why not?
These should be a great place to start and then comes the harder decisions…..
1. Choose the mitzvah!
This is the hardest part. The internet has so many ideas and examples from others as well as
books written! There are hundreds to choose from and you need to help your child find
something to showcase their talents. Focus on suggestions from family and friends.
When you pick a cause find out everything you can and if it has meaning to the child. Talk
to your rabbi to make sure this idea is accepted. Think about what kind of involvement
is right. Would your child prefer to work directly with people for a hands on project, or
collect money and/or items to benefit those in Israel?
3. Find ways to make your idea personalized to the child!
How can your family bring this project to life at the reception? Is there ways to incorporate
it into the invitations, decorations and overall party? How can guests contribute? How can
you display your child’s progress?
4. Make it meaningful!
Find the way to express the project that it will inspire you as well as others. Make sure your
interests and talents can stand out.
5. Share it!
Make sure you let your guests know what the child accomplished. Find ways to show them
or have pictures at the celebration. If you need their help, ask for it.
Mitzvah Project Suggestions:
Prayer: Choose a prayer and discover the literal meaning, Research it and translate your
research into a book, or slideshow to share at your celebration.
Charity: Giving is a huge part of Judaism. Research needs. Examples include clothes, food or
toys to collect, prepare meals for the homeless, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and sell goods like
baking and donate the funds. Guests participate by bringing things to donate or help you with the
Let’s face it you’ll become a bar mitzvah with or without a Mitzvah Project. In reality there are
hundreds of organizations dedicated to helping others. Do your research and find your calling.
But being involved your child will learn valuable lessons that they will take with them forever.