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 Home > Bar Mitzvah Guide > Reform > Promoting Mitzvot & Good Deeds

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 Promoting Mitzvot and Good Deeds
Reform Perspective by Rivka C. Berman

A bar and bat mitzvah party is also an opportunity do do good for the lesser fortunate and for the community.  Some bar mitzvah boys and girls ask their guests to donate to a charity of choice in lieu of gifts. Some use their celebration to promote the opportunity for others to join in doing good.  For example,  you may ask guests to bring old coats to the party and donate them to an organization that clothes the poor.

Variations on this theme: old eyeglasses can be put to good use. Call the Jewish Heritage for the Blind (718) 338-4999. They participate in a program that sends optometrists and crates of used glasses to the poor in third world countries.

Canned good food drives are easy to pull together. Tuck a note about the food drive into the invitation. At the party, set out a basket to collect the canned goods. There is a widespread effort to donate 3% of the party expenses or gift revenue to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and a food drive is a tangible way to build upon the contribution to Mazon.

Centerpieces
Use centerpieces to display your commitment to doing good. Build centerpieces around posters, ads or brochures from charities who will benefit from the bat mitzvah celebration. On a card describe a donation of time or money that has been made to the organization (or a pledge based on expected bar mitzvah booty.)

Jewish charities abound. Each one has a different focus and serves a special need from infant health networks to Jewish teen crisis lines to meals on wheels for the elderly. Choose organizations with missions that mean the most to you.

Post-Party Good Deeds
 
w Wrap up leftover food for a homeless shelter.
 
w Save cake for a senior citizens center.
 
w Send flower centerpieces to hospitals or shelters for battered women.
 
w Donate a percentage of the cash gifts to charity. Allow the bat mitzvah girl to choose her own causes.
 
w Give extra kiddush cups and other double gifts to organizations that sponsor bar mitzvah ceremonies for poor children. There are some in Israel that put together celebrations for war orphans.
 
w Gather all the books that were received as gifts. Create a family book club and read through one book at a time. Start with the most interesting one first.

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Confirmation vs. Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Reform Teens: The Confirmation Ceremony
Evolution of the Bar Mitzvah over the years
Is a formal celebration of a Bar MItzvah or Bat MItzvah required by Jewish law?
Setting Date, Selecting Venue for the Celebration of a Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah Services and Ceremonial Rituals at the Synagogue
Getting Ready for the Bar Mitzvah - The Tallit: Prayer Shawl
What a Bar and Bat Mitzvah Need to Know
Getting Ready for the Bar Mitzvah - Reading Hebrew & Torah Reading
Preparation for the Bar Mitzvah Celebrations: Ideas and Alternatives
Beyond Party Plans: Meaningful Projects for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah
The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Service: Instructional Booklets and Schedules
The Bar Mitzvah: Roles for Parents
Memorial Prayers during the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Celebrations
Videography and Photography during Bar Mitzvah Services at the Synagogue
Bar Mitzvah boy and Bat Mitzvah Girl of Divorced Parents.  What to do?
"Honors" during Torah Reading at Synagogue Bar Mitzvah Services
Synagogue Etiquette: What to Wear, How to Conduct Oneself

Party with a Jewish Flavor: Jewish Food, Jewish Music, Jewish Dance, and more
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Speeches
Candle Lighting Ceremonies
Charity and Good Deeds: The Bar Mitzvah opportunity for doing something good!

 




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