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 spring of his/her sixth-grade year, at which point the project is explained in detail. During the summer months, each student chooses a mitzvah projecton a theme of personal significance. 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 Coordinator, Education Team, Religious SchoolTeachers, 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.
This Mitzvah Mania Manual provides great information to help students get started.
The Mitzvah project should be chosen based on the problems the b’nei mitzvah student sees in the world, their understanding of Jewish values, and their own interests
and skills. Mitzvah projects involve both tzedakah (giving resources), and g’milut hasadim (giving of their time and themselves).
Here are some questions b’nei mitzvah students should ask themselves as they contemplate choosing aproject:
• 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?