Name: Benjamin Pincus
School: Bohrer-Kaufman Hebrew Academy of Morris County, Randolph, eighth grade
Parents: Michelle and Alan Pincus
Bar mitzva: May 17, 2014
Synagogue: Temple Shalom, Succasunna
Mitzva project: Raising money for and awareness of the Friends of Israel Defense Forces
Beneficiaries: Ben is supporting the FIDF’s Spirit Program, which provides respite stays to soldiers at recreational facilities in Israel, where they can relax by the pool, watch movies, play sports, and connect socially with other soldiers.
“I am proud to raise money for the FIDF,” Ben said. “It is an awesome organization that provides many great services and support to the young men and women soldiers who bravely defend Israel.”
How it worked: Benjamin created an on-line fund-raising page, collecting over $1,000 in donations, and also sold blue FIDF bracelets at his school and synagogue. He also raised $86 through a guessing contest at his synagogue — for $1, students, teachers, and congregants could guess how many M&Ms were in a jar, and whoever came closest to the actual number won all the candies.
In addition, he presented a PowerPoint slide show about the IDF to fifth- and sixth-grade students and teachers at his school. After the presentation, an IDF soldier visited the group and spoke about his experiences in the tank corps and answered questions from the students.
Inspiration: Ben attended the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s Mitzvah Fair, where the FIDF had a table. “Seeing the photos of the proud soldiers made me want to get involved,” he said. “Israel is my other homeland. The IDF protects Israel, so I wanted to do something to help the IDF.”
Others who helped: Rabbi Laura Rappaport and Rhonda Cohen from Temple Shalom helped organize the PowerPoint presentation and the guessing contest. Arielle Kramer from the FIDF helped set up the fund-raising page, sent FIDF materials for the guessing contest and presentation, and coordinated the soldier’s visit. His parents helped by reviewing the PowerPoint presentation and asking for donations from friends and family.
How others can help: Visit Ben’s fund-raising page at firstgiving.com/fundraiser/benpincus.