Bnei Mitzvah Tikkun Olam Projects

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Bnei Mitzvah Tikkun Olam Projects 2016-11-16T16:59:31+00:00

For ideas on how to begin planning a tikkun olam project, download our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Magic Booklet

To have your project listed here and in the synagogue enews, send your information to You can include a photo.

Jillian and Nicole Selig daughters of Rebecca and Scott Selig, Saturday, November 29, 2014Charter Oak

As part of our B’not Mitzvah project, we have been serving dinner once a month at The Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford. The Center provides programming to enrich the lives of the inner city families in the neighborhood. Once a month, Beth El Temple cooks and serves dinner to these families who might not always have a home cooked meal. A good friend coordinates this program and is always looking for people to help. We thought this would be a great thing to do for our project. Over the summer, the stove at Charter Oak broke down and they cannot afford to replace it which makes it harder to serve hot meals to the families. Although we have been able to still serve dinners, a nice hot meal will be even more important during the cold winter months. It would be wonderful if members of the Emanuel family would help out and donate to the Center to allow them to purchase a new stove. You can donate on line at or by mail 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106.

Benjamin Merritt son of Michaelee and Mark Merritt,  November 15, 2014.Operation Shoe box

For my Mitzvah project, I have chosen OPERATION SHOEBOX in memory of my grandfather, Bruce Stovall. Papa, as we called him, served in the United States Navy. He loved candy, even though he wasn’t supposed to be eating it!  One of the items that the troops like to receive is candy.  Please help me send the troops a lot of CANDY!

I will have boxes for donation located in the synagogue office. Candy must be individually wrapped. Twizzlers, skittles, gum and the like. (Chocolate does not ship well). OPERATION SHOEBOX is also in need of individual drink sticks that our Military Heroes can add to bottled water.  We also need ball point pens.

Please add a thank you note to our heroes I will put them in the care packages.

Ethan Levinbook, son of Wendy and Howard Levinbook, Bar Mitzvah May 16, 2015

I have been playing the cello for six years, and it has become an important part of my life. It is a fun H4Kand creative outlet that I have been lucky to experience. Unfortunately, there are many children who do not get to play an instrument, simply because they can’t afford one. For my mitzvah project, I would like to set up a drive to collect gently used musical instruments.  These will be to given to the charity ‘Horns 4 Kids.’

Horns 4 kids is a nonprofit organization that supports deserving music programs throughout Connecticut. Their main purpose is to encourage children to experience the thrill of performing music in school, and as a life-long activity.  The instruments they receive are refurbished and distributed to numerous schools throughout the state.  I am collecting strings, brass, percussion, keyboard, and wind instruments.  They can be dropped off at the Emanuel Synagogue Office. Or, please contact me at or 860-716-9760 and I will be happy to come to your home and pick up your donation.  Thank you for taking the time to read about my project.

Natalie Goodman, daughter of Jonathan Goodman, Bat Mitzvah October 25, 2014 Natallie Goodman

On Sunday, September 7th, learn or brush up on your tap steps and help those who can’t afford one to receive a new leg and walk again! Please join Natalie Goodman in supporting the Limbs for Life Foundation. This charity makes lower limb prostheses available to those without the funds or insurance coverage.

The class will be taught by professional instructors. Please bring your own shoes. Cost: $10 cash or check, payable to Limbs for Life Foundation. Registration begins at 12:00 noon. Class: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Location: The Emanuel Synagogue, Silverman Auditorium.

RSVP Requested:


Brett Berman, son of Lisa and Evan Berman, Bar Mitzvah, January 31, 2015

Sunday, July 27th 12-2 Brett’s Mitzvah Booth at Jonathan’s Dream Playground on the grounds of
the Mandell JCC. Look for my booth: Brett B’s Mitzvah Booth, and bring along a check or cash! Mini first aid kits will be sold for $10.00 each.

These kits can go into kid’s backpacks, glove compartments, etc. All the profit will go towards helping to rebuild Jonathan’s Dream playground. If you can not personally come by on that day…let me know by emailing (my mom @ and you can send a check or cash (check made payable to: Jonathan’s Dream and mail to Brett Berman 20 Brookline Dr WH, CT 06107) and I will set aside a First Aid Kit fJonathan's Dreamor you!

Here is my story:  A few weeks ago, on my way to visit my Great Grandma at the Hebrew Home and Hospital, we drove right past a playground called Jonathan’s Dream. Jonathan’s Dream was me and my brother’s favorite place to play when we were little. I was so surprised to notice it was all torn down. I got sad. I asked my mom why it was demolished and she told me that it held up for many, many years and just wasn’t safe for kids to play on anymore; but that she heard they were going to build a new one.
We did some investigating and I couldn’t believe what I found out. Not only were an amazing team of people coming together to design a new and improved Jonathan’s Dream, it is going to be called Jonathan’s Dream Reimagined and be built for children of all ages with and without disabilities. It is going to be modeled after the Miracle League Field and Playground built 2 years ago in West Hartford. Max did his Mitzvah Project with The Miracle League. I got so excited and thought, “this is a great thing for me to focus on for my Mitzvah Project”. My Mom and I contacted a few people, educated ourselves on the Project and everything fell into place! Not only was Jonathan’s Dream Playground a huge part of my childhood, but I personally understand the challenges that children with disabilities face. I have a mild disability, yet I am still able to do everything that I want to do. My disability is called Cerebral Palsy and it can be much more severe than the level I have it on and even debilitating for some kids. I know that there are times I am hesitant to do something or tryout for something if I don’t feel safe there. My disability is on my right side and it affects my right hand, arm, right leg and foot. So sometimes it throws my balance off. I just think it is so cool that this playground will make “PLAY”, SAFE AND FUN FOR EVERYONE!
I wanted to be creative in what I chose to sell to raise money for the new playground. I thought a mini first aid kit that could go into kids backpacks, glove compartments in cars, strollers and even pockets would be a good thing. You never know when a bee sting may happen, a knee gets scraped, or a band aid is needed. These mini bags come well stocked and are very cool. They are actually mini cinch bags with my own phrase, “make play safe and fun for everyone” on one side and the New Jonathan’s Dream Logo on the other.
My parents are giving me these First Aid Kits as my 13th Birthday Present to sell…so 100% of all proceeds can go towards the creating and building of the new structure.

Daniel Schenk, son of Dennice and Michael Schenk, Bar Mitzvah, October 26, 2013

I chose to help neglected animals because I care deeply about how they are treated.  I volunteer at  Bandits Place Rescue, an animal shelter in East Hartland. There, I clean the kennel, play with and walk dogs and help in other ways.  Bandits Place also coordinates a local pet food pantry which is stocked solely by donations. I am collecting supplies for Bandits Place, and I would greatly appreciate donations of paper towels, boxes of huge garbage bags, hand wipes, dog toys, collars, leashes, hand sanitizer and food.   You can bring these items to the synagogue and put them in the collection basket in the back lobby. Thank you for your support.

Haley Berkowitz, daughter of Jacqueline and Mark Berkowitz, Bat Mitzvah April 20. 2013.

On Sunday, April 7, Haley held a Zumba class at The Emanuel Synagogue with certified instructors to benefit the teen mothers and their babies who reside at the St. Agnes Home.

Amber Raisner, daughter of Amy and David Raisner, Bat Mitzvah September 28, 2013

As part of my “mitzvah” project, I am inviting kids to a basketball jam in the hopes of raising money to send children from the Greater Hartford Area to local summer sports programs. All participants will receive a t-shirt and ice cream.  Raffles and prizes will be awarded.

You don’t need to have any experience or skills, just come out, do a good deed and have fun. Join me on March 30th, 12:15 pm at Hall High School. $10.00 per pre-registered participant.
Please click on the link to register:

If you know anyone who might like to participate, please forward this to them.  The more participants, the better. Hope to see you there and thanks for helping me succeed with this project.