In the last couple of weeks I’ve had the amazing opportunity to be invited to speak at two wonderful schools in New Jersey about doing a mitzvah project to benefit Lev LaLev. These presentations came on the coattails of the launch of our new bat mitzvah project program, Beyond Bat Mitzvah. 

As always, Lev LaLev is continuing to partner with Bat Mitzvah girlsworldwide to create a customized project that is the most meaningful to them for their special day. In addition, the Beyond Bat Mitzvah website:www.BeyondBatMitzvah.com, hopes to create an outlet for these Lev LaLev Bat Mitzvah girls to continue their lifelong pursuit of Tikun Olam-healing the world. Eventual plans include an annual trip to Israel for the Beyond Bat Mitzvah participants. These girls would tour the country, visit the Children’s Home and spend a special Shabbat with the Lev LaLev girls!
 
Back to the school visits ~ The kick-off was a visit to thePolitz Day School of Cherry Hill where I had a chance to speak to the 4th - 7th grade girls. After playing a word association game with “orphan” and “orphanage” the young ladies watched a video about the Children’s Home and found themselves with an entirely new understanding of the good work that a modern day Israeli orphanage, like Lev LaLev, does. The girls were inspired to help those less fortunate then themselves. One student did express concern over the language barrier of the native Hebrew-speaking Israeli girls at the Home but somehow I feel that a kind gesture and bright smile needs no translation. Luckily, our Home's bi-lingual director, Bracha Runes, can also help bridge the gap. 

My next visit was to the after school program at Bnai Keshet Synagogue in Montclair where my older sister, Morah Marrisa, teaches. It was the first day back at school after summer vacation for the students who all choose a Bnai Mitzvahproject to go along with their ceremonies. What an amazing group! Being so close to Rosh Hashana we learned a quick lesson about how the apple dipping into the honey represents the importance of remembering that we must “stick” our body and soul together as one. Just as we age and become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah we must remember that our soul must grow as well and that’s why a mitzvah project, in which we give back to others, is such an amazing way to celebrate this milestone birthday. 

Once again, thanks so much to the schools for welcoming me in to speak. I cannot wait to work together with them again!

If you would like us to visit your school or youth group, or want more information about the Bat Mitzvah project program, please do not hesitate to contact me at sheena@levlalev.comShana Tova!

Sheena Levi, 
Director of Outreach at Lev LaLev Fund

reprinted from Lev LaLev Family newsletter: http://bit.ly/oyhh2C