Jewish National Fund

Create Your Own

Westchester Boys Mitzvah Project

Eight boys from across Westchester County, NY will celebrate their Bar Mitzvah’s throughout the next 2 year. For their mitzvah project, they’ve decided to work together to raise money for JNF’s Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.

“Over the summer, there were a lot of bombings in Israel and many people were hurt and didn’t have places to go when that happened,” said Logan, one of the participants. “We wanted to help out these kids who wouldn’t have a safe place to play if it weren’t for the rec center.”

The idea was inspired by an Israeli au pair who cared for Logan and his two younger brothers. Awaiting her arrival last summer, they couldn’t get in touch with her for a week after a series of bombings occurred. Once she had arrived, she talked about what life was like in her community back home. The family wanted to give back to Israel, to which they feel deeply connected.

The project will continue to raise money until the last boys’ bar mitzvahs in the spring of 2016. Potential uses for the money include donating equipment to the indoor playground, renovating the soccer and basketball courts, and creating scholarships for underprivileged kids to go to camp. They also want to create a relationship between the kids of Westchester and Sderot through pen pals or Skyping.

“We hope that this will act as a model for mitzvah projects in other communities across the country,” said Stephanie Risa Balkin, JNF Director for Westchester and Southern Connecticut. “We want children in other areas to be inspired, join together and make an impact on kids their age in Israel.”

The boys are running several fundraising projects throughout the next two years including a mitzvah day at JCC of Harrison; a community-wide basketball tournament; a comedy night; selling handmade rainbow loom bracelets; handing out Blue Boxes at their schools, synagogues, and local retail and restaurants

The Westchester Mitzvah Boys are excited to be working on their project together, and making a difference in the lives of others. "There are kids just like me in Sderot who don't have all of the opportunities I have. It is so nice that we can help these kids have more opportunities and a better life" said Ben Zalta, participant of the Westchester Mitzvah Project. “I feel like I’m helping Judaism and improving people’s lives by doing this,” said Logan.

We hope we can count on your support! Whether you attend an event, or support us with a donation, we thank you for generous support!

For more information please contact Israel Advocacy and Education Area Director Anna Richlin at arichlin@jnf.org, or 973-593-0095 x 826

Thank you!

Upcoming Events:

June 1, 2014: Appearance on the Today Show June 1, 2014: Celebrate Israel Parade

Westchester Boys Mitzvah Project - Join Team Raised
Anna Richlin $0.00
Gidi Katz $0.00
Jacob Wachs $760.00
Personal Gift Logan Wasserman $60.00
Benjamin Zalta $5,036.00
Team Gifts $1,558.75
Denotes a Team Captain