Make a Mitzvah Even More Meaningful
by Karina Parikh
A bar/bat mitzvah is arguably the most significant experience in a Jewish child’s life, marking the moment that he or she is able to observe the commandments, take part in religious services— even marry under Jewish law — among other responsibilities. It also marks a significant birthday, as most children celebrate their bar/bat mitzvah around the time that they turn 13.
While it may be difficult to navigate the gift-giving process given the ever-fluctuating tastes of young teens, there is one particular feature of the bar/bat mitzvah that weaves together the religious significance of the ceremony, the child’s passions and interests, and the opportunity for friends and family to share in the experience: the mitzvah project.
What It Is:
The mitzvah project is a community service project that many children preparing for their bar/bat mitzvahs undertake. Built upon the concept tzedakah, or the notion that it is one’s duty to alleviate the world’s injustices, the mitzvah project allows the child celebrating their bar/bat mitzvah the opportunity to put religious duty to practice. Whether a child wants to share their love of reading by donating books to children in other countries, volunteer their time at an animal shelter, or help prepare meals at a local soup kitchen, the mitzvah project helps them shed light on issues that mean the most to them and help them give back to their community.
How It Works:
Guests can support a child’s mitzvah project by donating in support of their chosen cause. A Give:Tendr account is an easy way to make a donation to the child’s favorite charity in their name along with a personalized card so they know exactly who it’s from. If you’re a parent of a child who is about to have a bar/bat mitzvah, you can help your child set up their own Give:Tendr account so that they can seamlessly gather contributions toward their mitzvah project cause all in one place.
Apart from contributing to the mitzvah project, giving a child celebrating their bar/bat mitzvah a cash gift to commemorate their special day is one that they can put to good use at any age. A good rule of thumb is to give money in $18 increments, since the numbers 1 and 8 are the numerical equivalent for the Hebrew word for life, or chai. With a Tendr account, the recipient doesn’t need to deal with cashing checks or keep track of who gave what, and they can even send thank-you notes directly to their gift-givers from our online platform.