As you enter in to the world of Jewish adulthood, we hope you will embrace the mitzvah of working to repair the world (tikkun olam). As part of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah experience, we require every student to participate in a meaningful project to complement their learning. We hope that through this project you will:
- Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new
- Connect with people with whom you may not regularly interact
- Deepen your connection to your Jewish identity
To help guide your Mitzvah Project experience, think about a few things:
- What keeps you up at night? What bothers you about the world that you want to go out and change?
- What is your passion? How can it be used to bring positive change to the world?
- Who do you know? What people can help you achieve your goals?
Below are some areas in which you may want to work. Find inspiration from other students, or create your own experience!
Poverty/Food Insecurity / Mazon
- BT Ta’anit 20b - “Let all who are in need come and eat!”
- Time and time again, Judaism teaches us to share our bounty. Whether it be leaving the corners of our fields, or donating money to the local soup kitchen, our tradition teaches us to have a responsibility to ensure that all members of our society are fed and sustained. What are some ways that you can uphold this commandment, and help nourish our community?
Welcoming the Stranger / Hachnasat Orchim
- Emma Lazarus The New Colossus - “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
- There are more people forced to leave their homes than ever before in human history. According to the UN Refugee Agency: “An unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.” What does your connection to Judaism teach you about this modern crisis? How can you make a difference locally and globally?
Supporting the Sick / Bikur Cholim
- Bava Metziah 30b “When you visits an ill person, you take away one-sixtieth of the person’s illness.”
- Judaism emphasizes the healing power of presence and connection with the those who are sick. Are there illnesses or diseases that have impacted you personally that you can help fight against? Is there a group of people who you could connect with to make a positive impact in their lives?
Feeding the Hungry / Miklat
- Isaiah 58:7 - “Share your bread with the hungry, And to take the homeless and the poor into your home; When you see the naked, clothe them, and do not ignore your own kin.”
- We live in a world of disproportionate access to basic needs. Where do you see to help support your community? What are some ways that you can support your neighbors in need?
Honoring Our Elderly / Kibud Zekanim
- Leviticus 19:32 - "You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old"
- Our tradition teaches us that there is wisdom to be gathered from those who have lived long, and that we should care for those who cannot care for themselves. How can we honor and care for the elders in our community?
Environmentalism / Ahavat Ha’Aretz
- Kohelet Rabah 7:13 - “Look at My works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are! And all that I have created, it was for you that I created it. Pay attention that you do not corrupt and destroy My world: if you corrupt it, there is no one to repair it after you.”
- Judaism teaches us that our role in protecting the earth is critical. As a partner in creation, and a guardian of the earth, what are some ways you can make a positive impact on the preservation of our planet?