What’s a Mitzvah Project?

At around the age of b’nei mitzvah, it is a perfect time to begin opening your eyes to problems facing your own family, local community, as well as larger injustices brewing around the world. Seeking out such problems takes practice, and combating these problems often requires support from family, the North Shore Congregation Israel community, and sometimes partnering with worthy organizations that are already invested in the work that you seek to do.

Here’s an easy step-by-step process to help you craft your mitzvah project:

  1. Brainstorm a list of things that concern you: Personally? Your friends or family? Your community? The world?

  2. Talk with trusted adults — family, friends, teachers, coaches, rabbis, cantor — to help you choose which topic will be your focus.

  3. Research local or international organizations that are already invested in the work that you seek to do: What help do they need? How can you, your friends, and your family get involved? To learn more about social justice issues from the Reform Jewish Movement perspective, visit: www.rac.org.

  4. Plan a fundraiser or collection to raise awareness about the issue and help combat the problem!

  5. Meet with Rabbi Daniels to discuss your plan: rabbidaniels@nsci.org or (847) 835-0724. You can contact him at any point along the way to help brainstorm ideas and connect you with adults and/or organizations who are doing great work.

Consider ways to infuse social justice into your service or celebration!

  • Along with your invitation, ask your guests to bring items to your b'nei mitzvah that you will donate to an organization of your choice.

  • Consider creating centerpieces with items that you can donate to an organization of your choice.

  • Donate your flowers and unopened food after your celebration. For a list of local organizations that will accept unopened food, visit FindHelpLakeCounty.org and search “soup kitchens.”

  • Are you planning to celebrate your b'nei mitzvah in Israel or travel after your service? Research volunteer opportunities while you are away!

  • Consider making a tzedakah ("charitable giving") donation in honor of your celebration.

  • Invite friends & family to volunteer with you in honor of your b’nei mitzvah! Consider local organizations like Cradles to Crayons or Momma Chef’s Soup Kitchen at Congregation KINS.

Click HERE for NSCI's Mitzvah Project brochure with ideas for your b'nei mitzvah!