During the year of Bar/Bat-Mitzvah, each student will participate in an extended community service project of no less than eighteen hours, corresponding to this significant year in a young person’s life. The Mitzvah Mania project begins with a kickoff Mitzvah event in the fall of his/her seventh-grade year, at which point the project is explained in detail.
The Mitzvah Mania program provides dozens of choices; we also enable our students to engage in a project of original design. Each student’s progress is monitored by the Mitzvah Mania Coordinators, Education Team, Religious School Teachers, and Clergy. Furthermore, each student has the opportunity to describe his/her project in a short biography featured in the Temple Bulletin, the Shofar, in the weeks preceding his/her Bar/Bat-Mitzvah.
Download the Mitzvah Mania Manual for more information, ideas for projects and a list of agencies you can work with right here in Greater Rhode Island.
Students are asked to
- Create a report that summarizes their Mitzvah Mania experiences by answering the following questions:
- Why did you choose this particular project?
- What specifically did you do?
- Was there any moment that stands out for you as particularly important or special?
- What did you learn?
- What was the best part of your project?
- What was the most difficult?
- What was the most surprising?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- Are you planning to continue your Mitzvah Mania activities?
(These topics are suggestions—feel free to include other information and your own ideas!)
- Create a presentation that can be shared with the school and possibly displayed at your Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a poster that includes pictures, drawings, and other important information to represent your experience.
- Make a video journal of your experience
- Create a digital presentation that answers the questions above – check out this link that lists the variety of tools available
To our B’nei Mitzvah Students:
Your Mitzvah project should be chosen based on the problems you see in the world, your understanding of Jewish values, and your own interests and skills. Mitzvah projects involve both tzedakah (giving resources), and g’milut hasadim (giving of your time and yourself).
Here are some questions to ask as you contemplate choosing a project:
- What upsets me about the state of the world?
- What could I do to perform tikkun olam, repair of the world to help?
- What values (Jewish and secular) are most important to me?
- What gifts do I bring to the table to help others?
- We hope that your project will involve direct action beyond a drive or fundraiser.
- We ask that you do not do a drive at Temple Beth-El as we have so many people collecting so many things. You may reach out to your school, friends, family and the wider community.
- Choose something that reflects your passions as you take advantage of this opportunity to do Tikkun Olam.