Two hundred-plus b’nei mitzva students from 19 synagogues and youth groups in the Greater MetroWest area came to The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life in Whippany to discover options for their mitzva projects.
Mitzvot of Greater MetroWest, held Jan. 31, was rescheduled from the previous week due to winter storm Jonas. The Partnership is the Jewish identity-building organization of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Representatives from 24 organizations were on hand to to tell the preteens about opportunities for service projects, among them: providing care for residents of the Lester Senior Housing Community, training seeing-eye dogs with Eyes of Hope, and gathering sports equipment to donate to impoverished youngsters in Israel through Mifalot.
But, according to the the Partnership’s Michael Strom, who coordinated the event, Mitzvot of Greater MetroWest is more than just a service expo. The JTEEN GMW program conveys “a powerful message that service and Judaism are intrinsically linked,” he said. “Participants are reminded that the mitzva project is not a one-time ‘rite of passage,’ but rather serves as an indication that mitzvot and tzedeka are central, ongoing commitments to leading a virtuous Jewish adult life.”
Each participant received an issue of New Jersey Jewish News that included special information for young people and a Partnership guide to steer the students to Jewish service learning as they enter their teen years.