- Read a case study
- Watch a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration in Israel
- Spotlight on our Bat Mitzvah girls
- Spotlight on our Bar Mitzvah boys
There are thousands of disadvantaged children in Israel each year who are unable to participate in and celebrate this religious milestone. This celebration is a key element in the practice of Judaism. These children cannot afford to pay for lessons which culminate in their Bar/Batmitzvah.
Every year, WIZO branches throughout Israel organise group Bar and Bat Mitzvah programmes for children whose families who are unable to afford a personal celebration.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah programmes have been held in the cities of Jerusalem, Petach Tikvah, Holon, Ramat Gan, Afula, Haifa and Netanya for small groups of twenty to forty children who reach this important religious milestone in their lives.
The boys and girls participating in the WIZO Bar and Bat Mitzvah programme are from disadvantaged families affected by poverty, family crisis, bereavement or are single parent families or immigrants from Russia, Ethiopia or other areas .
Without WIZO, these children would not be celebrating their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
The WIZO Bar/Bat Mitzvah programme includes:
- Jewish educational classes
- Bar Mitzvah boys – Aliyah to the Torah (called up to the Torah)
- Trip to Jerusalem and the Kotel (usually their first time)
- Participation in community volunteer work.
- A festive family celebration
- Gifts of religious articles e.g. for boys –tefillin, tallit and siddur and for girls – silver candlesticks, Magen David necklace and siddur.
By participating in this special WIZO programme, the children gain a deeper understanding of Judaism and Tzedakah. It helps them become more productive members of society and creates connections between families and the community.
If you would like to help a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah child in Israel through your own Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration this year, there are a lot of sponsorship opportunities you could consider!
- For $180 WIZO can provide gifts of religious items to A Bar/Bat Mitzvah child.
- For $600 WIZO can provide one child with participation in the Bar or Bat Mitzvah Programme which includes classes for a year, volunteer activities, a ceremony, a simcha, an outing to Jerusalem and religious gifts.
Select an amount for WIZO to donate to areas you may have a particular interest in e.g. The Pet Therapy Programme, providing extracurricular activities for disadvantaged children or support the WIZ Kids program for one year
In lieu of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift, a guest can make donation to WIZO in your name.
You could donate some money you receive from your own Bar/Bat Mitzvah to the WIZO programme.
Please call your WIZO State office if you would like to participate.
You will be joining other Bar and Bat Mitzvah children around the world who helped Bar and Bat Mitzvah aged children in Israel to celebrate their special time in their lives. Your donation will be recognised with a certificate from the President of your State.
Case Study – Ruti
Ruti is one of the forty eight boys and girls who participated in the WIZO Bar and Bat Mitzvah programme organised by WIZO Tel Aviv in Israel.
Ruti attends activities at the WIZO Youth Club in the afternoon after school. Ruti was two years old when her mother died and she has five brothers and sisters in her family.
The Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and the World Chairperson of WIZO spoke to all the children and their families at their ceremony.
After her Bat Mitzvah celebration, Ruti said “Today I feel like I am the most important person in the world.”
Bianca, the youngest of three girls, attends Mount Scopus Memorial College.
In her spare time she loves to dance and help make a difference to others less fortunate.
During the Central Shule Bat Mitzvah Program, Bianca learned about the WIZO Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project. Their teacher asked each girl to raise $16 independently so that they could share this mitzvah with a young girl in Israel.
Bianca independently raised over $500 by baking cookies and selling them to her family and friends. This also allowed her to share information about the program and how wonderful it was to be involved.
Bianca made mention of the program in her Dvar Torah expressing how much she enjoyed raising these funds for others.
When choosing to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah party, Bianca wanted to further contribute to this amazing program so requested donations instead of gifts.
Bianca has gained great pleasure in knowing she has assisted other young girls to experience this special milestone in Israel.
Tiferet Van der Plaat
Tiferet is number four out of five children and attends Beth Rivkah Ladies College. She is very active in Hineni, attending weekly meetings as well as going on camps.
Tiferet has grown up in an environment where volunteering is commonplace. Tiferet’s father is a volunteer with Hatzolah and her mother is involved with WIZO. Tiferet has always volunteered where she could, including at her school after school hours and at her Shule in preparation for Chaggim or Kiddushim.
The WIZO Twinning program was of interest to Tiferet and she was glad she could finally donate towards it. Tiferet felt very proud that she could help a girl like herself have a Bat Mitzvah party, receive candle sticks and go on a trip to the Kotel. Tiferet choose to receive her certificate at her own Bat Mitzvah party so that all her classmates could hear about the Twinning program.
Tiferet looks forward to volunteering for WIZO in the future.
Dalia celebrated her Bat Mitzvah with a moving ceremony on the summit of Masada in April 2017.
This was followed by a party in Melbourne on 11 June 2017 where she celebrated with family and friends.
Given how fortunate she is in terms of her family, schooling and lifestyle, Dalia was committed to forgoing gifts and donate to those less fortunate. She chose WIZO, and particularly the renovation of the toddler and kinder rooms of a day care centre, as she felt this would be a meaningful contribution and have maximum impact.
Chloe Fisher and Chloe Lyons
Chloe and Chloe are close friends and part of the Moriah College Bat Mitzvah Group for 2014. They joined together for their WIZO Tzedakah Bat Mitzvah project to raise some much needed funds for those Bar/Bat Mitzvah children in Israel who are less fortunate than them.
The girls decided to sell the Monday Morning Cook Book ‘The Feast Goes On’ to family and friends. They texted, emailed and spread the word to as many friends and family as possible. The replies were immediate and they were overwhelmed by all the support and positive responses they received. They offered gift wrapping for the books to give as Pesach gifts and free delivery. Many weekends were spent with their generous mums, delivering books and taking payments. Jokingly referred to as the Sunday Morning Delivery Club, the girls quickly became familiar in the Eastern Suburbs. Proudly wearing their WIZO T Shirts, they knocked on doors offering books to anyone who had not yet bought one.
The girls were inspired to sell, wrap and deliver as many books as possible and ended up selling over 90 books to the wider community!
Chloe Fisher was excited when she was given the opportunity to participate in the WIZO Bat mitzvah Tzedakah Programme as she will be celebrating her Bat mitzvah in December 2014. Chloe felt that WIZO and the MMCB book both represent a combination of family values, Jewish traditions and learning from past generations. She looks forward to visiting Israel in early January 2015 to complete her Bat Mitzvah year experience and displays a generous heart and a passion for helping others.,
Chloe Lyons’ Batmizvah is coming up in October 2014 and she was delighted to take part in this project as Israel has a special place in her heart. Her grandmother is Israeli and all Chloe’s mum’s family live there. Chloe went to Israel two years ago for the first time and attended two Bat Mitzvah’s which was an unforgettable experience for her.
Both girls have shown what can be done through determination, dedication and passion and they hope that the funds raised will help girls their age who couldn’t afford to have a Bat Mitzvah be able to have one, enabling them to embark on the same spiritual journey they are in the process of undertaking.
Natalie donated money on the occasion of her Batmitzvah- Natalie’s grandmother Maya Hirsch is a loyal WIZO supporter and of course her other grandmother Myrna Freed is a Past President of WIZO Queensland.
Maor decided to donate his Bar Mitzvah presents to WIZO and Mount Scopus.
He made this decision because he feels fortunate and can give to people in need, such as those that don’t have anywhere to live, don’t have food or don’t receive love from their parents.
His mum has been involved in WIZO for the last eight years and his family knows what WIZO does and about their projects in Israel.
“To give to Makom BaLev, a centre for girls in distress, made me feel that I can make a change and help the girls to get off of the streets and give them a warm and loving place to be.”
‘It’s important to give to Israel as it is my country, the Jewish country.’
Blake feels so privileged to have had his Bar Mitzvah last December with a magnificent Kiddush, followed by an amazing party with family and family friends.
He felt proud to share this milestone with people close to his family.
He wanted to do a mitzvah to mark this special occasion and it feels really good to know that he has helped less fortunate boys in Israel to celebrate their Bar Mitzvahs with a kiddush party that they otherwise would not have had!
He thinks the WIZO Twinning Program is a meaningful way for Bar Mitzvah boys to make a difference to the lives of others their age in Israel.
Sam celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in March 2013. With his passion and love for animals, Sam decided to donate to WIZO so that disadvantaged children could benefit from the Pet Therapy Program – caring for animals and taking responsibility for them.
It is because of Sam’s very special relationship with Rose Fekete that he donated to this very worthy organisation. Rose always talked to Sam about her love and dedication to WIZO and all the amazing acts of love, help and generosity it provides to so many women and children in Israel.
When the Springers visited Israel 2 years ago, Rose organised a visit to Ahuzat Yeladim in Haifa. The director, Yossi, showed them around the centre, making them feel welcome and introducing them to the children who lived there.
Tai celebrated his Barmitzvah in late 2013. His donation paid for the sponsorship of one child in Israel to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah.
Tai’s Granny Judy has been a WIZO member for many years – as have his great grandmother and great great grandmother! The women in his family are devoted members of WIZO and have collectively passed down their knowledge to Tai.
Tai has helped with fundraising activities like challah baking since he was 4 years old. He has always loved helping others and as his Bar Mitzvah was coming up he was determined to donate money that would really make a difference to someone elses’ life. The WIZO Bar/Bat Mitzvah programme was suggested by his grandmother, Judy Doobov. When Judy suggested twinning his Bar Mitzvah with a child in Israel, Tai knew it was exactly what he wanted to do and hopes that other Bar Mitzvah boys will follow in his footsteps.
Tai looks forward to visiting Israel soon and seeing Ahuzat Yeladim in Haifa.
Jayden is truly a member of the WIZO family. His mother is Karen Bognar an Aviv Representative in 2012 and his grandmothers are Anita Fisher Co-President of WIZO Ayelet and Rony Bognar OAM Past President WIZO Australia- both WIZO stalwarts.
Sam has been taught the meaning of Tzedakah from an early age. Sam’s grandmothers Dee Aronson and Bertha Milner are dedicated
leaders of WIZO Rachel.