Israel Bar & Bat Mitzvah – Give Some Love

July 4th 2011

How to Affect Children in Israel from Your Living Room; Israel Bar and Bat Mitzvah Tour ideas with Ahava

When you come to Israel with your family and your little one (and your growing, bigger ones) on your Israel Bar Mitzvah or Israel Bat Mitzvah tour, you will, understandably, expect to gain a lot from your experience. Being part of the luscious landscape, celebrating Jewish sovereignty, taking in the wonderful atmosphere, and relishing your child’s big day performance as he/she moves on to the next stage in his Jewish journey.

But have you ever thought about the opportunities to give as you tour around Israel? While receiving is wonderful (and well needed and deserved for exhausted families that want spiritual and cultural rejuvenation), there is nothing more uplifting and heartwarming than giving back when you return back to the US of A.

And, not surprisingly, kids love to be a part of the giving back process.

One interesting way in which to get your children, your family, and your whole American community involved is through an organization called “Ahava Village for Children and Youth”, located in the town of Kiryat Bialik.

The facilities on this campus include fifteen apartments,  education buildings, and places for the children (Kfar aged 6 to 18) to go to relax and spend time with each other. Two hundred children, all from high-risk, difficult home situations, live with foster parents in the apartments, and receive personal care, support, and necessary training, while also attending school in the village. It is the intent of the organization to help children from dysfunctional backgrounds ( terror, violence, abuse, drug victims) receive the tools and support to become empowered members of Israeli society.

The center began in 1938, when 50 European children entered what was then Palestine, in need of a home in the midst of their communal and familial destruction.  Now, the growing Ahava community serves children from all backgrounds and emotional and personal needs.

How does this have to do with you?  Plenty.  Because Ahava operates primarily on donations, it is in need of constant support. Their facilities are desperate for rehab, the dining hall is still in the finishing stages of reconstruction, and Ahava wants to create an emergency intervention center for traumatized children, with rooms for therapists to live, and more. But they can’t do it without you.

Discuss Ahava with your children before you leave for Israel, host a parlor meeting to get your community involved, organization a family fundraiser, and then visit Ahava on your Israel Bar/Bat Mitzvah tour. The significance of giving back in the spirit of Jewish renewal will alter your chidren’s perceptions of responsibility and  Jewish peoplehood forever.