The Mitzvah Project Book
Making Mitzvah Part of Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah... and Your Life
By Liz Suneby and Diane Heiman
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011, 190 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - September 12, 2011
The Bar Mitzvah ceremony for boys at age 13 and the Bat Mitzvah ceremony for girls at age 12 or 13 is very significant for Jews, but not very meaningful. The ceremonies have little impact upon their lives. The authors of this easy to read and very informative book offer dozens of ideas that will help young people grow spiritually, learn responsibility, and use their talents to perform good and meaningful deed for themselves, their families, fellow Jews, and non-Jews, both in their community and world-wide.
Examples of projects that the authors suggest and tell how to perform, are: Support orphans through your own crafts. Make personal tallits, prayer shawls, and give them to other people. Help stock a thrift shop. Collect costumes for kids. Hold cell phone tutorials. Read to elderly people. Write to wounded soldiers, American and Israeli. Volunteer at the public library. Become a member of a Jewish organization. Send care packages to Israeli soldiers. Give support to The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, these are non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust. Pass along your favorite books. Keep current on Israeli affairs. Bring parents breakfast in bed for a period of time.
These are just some of the many projects that the authors suggest for young people to help them make their Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies meaningful and memorable. Every chapter ends with interesting real life examples of how the proposed projects were carried out successfully and enjoyed by young people.