“Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place.” — Natalie Portman
Throughout the year, many young folks and parents contact us about faith-based service projects. To complete their confirmation or bar/bat mitzvah, youth may be asked to complete a certain amount of service hours or a service project.
This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the positive impact you’ve had on others and how best to continue on this path. By participating in a service project, you're given the chance to select a cause that's important to you. You can give back to your community or the world at large in any number of ways, including volunteering, fundraising, giveaways, completing a service project at your party, or raising awareness about a cause or agency. The options are endless!
Here are some tips on how to choose a project:
- Consider what your bar/bat mitzvah or confirmation means to you.
- Think about challenges in the world that you’d like your service project to address.
- Think about service projects your friends and relatives have done. What did you like about them?
- Contact organizations with whom you can partner for your project.
- Learn more about the problem you are addressing.
- Include information about your service project in your invitation, at the service, or at the party.
Here are some examples of projects other students have chosen:
While in Israel, Alex Kalb of New Rochelle donated school supplies to a youth center and packaged food for families of sick children. He also contacted a local hospital and donated board games that had been used as centerpieces at his party to their pediatric ward.
Benjamin Claar of Scarsdale volunteered at Sunday Fun Day, a program at his local Jewish Community Center that helps children with special needs with art, music, theater, and computers.
Alex Meisels of New Rochelle hosted a Mitzvah Clown training attended by over 25 classmates and friends. Participants learned the importance of Mitzvah Clowning, how to make balloon animals and apply clown makeup, and how to put into action what they had learned by visiting a local senior center.
Having difficulty choosing a project? Volunteer New York! has a full listing of local nonprofits and volunteer projects at www.volunteernewyork.org. Or call 914-227-9301 to start a discussion about starting your service project.