Magazine article Tikkun

The Kids

Magazine article Tikkun

The Kids

Article excerpt

Our Teachers in Mitzvahs

It is time to start paying closer attention to what kids of all ages are saying and doing in the world of Tzedakah and Mitzvahs. We pay lip service to them, praising them and telling them how much we admire what they have accomplished in the way of tikkun olam, but we need to go beyond that. Kids understand (in their unjaded view of the world) that there is a lot of tikkun olam that can be done simply. Let's do it according to their view of things: if it really is simple, let's do it without all of the "We can't because ..." excuses we throw at ourselves. Some Awesome Examples

A. IT WAS A SIX-YEAR-OLD who asked her synagogue to put a Mitzvah Crib in the lobby so congregants could bring in items for babies whose families are poor: "Dear Congregation: We do have a food pantry. But some babies need more. Thanks, Jessica Sender." P.S. Baby Crib: formula, toys, diapers, food, ointment, bottles, blankets, clothes, strollers, high chairs. PPS. Feel free to bring items not listed.

B. IT WAS A BAT MITZVAH "KID"-Elana Erdstein-who collected twenty-five thousand soaps and shampoos (hotel amenities) to take to shelters. It was a Bar Mitzvah "kid"David Levitt in Seminole, Florida-who got his county's schools to donate leftover food to shelters and soup kitchens, and who has made similar school donations a reality throughout the entire state. Bar and Bat Mitzvah "kids" everywhere enter Jewish adulthood with commitments to all kinds of Mitzvah projects, and commitments of some of their money to Tzedakah. And they are announcing it in their speeches from the bima, and asking others to join them.

C. IT WAS A TEENAGER-Emily Davenport-who, immediately after I conducted a leadership program, went with her younger brother to a doughnut shop and asked if she could regularly pick up the leftover doughnuts to take to shelters. The owner said, "Sure-as much as you want, as often as you want." By the time I got home, I already had an email from her saying, "Mission accomplished." (Many adults have failed because they never really tried.)

D. IT IS THE KIDS OF ALL AGES who come in hauling big bags of their stuffed animals to donate to kids who have none . …

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