An interview for the Jewish Ledger with B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation Members
Rebecca Mitrani Marmor
Grade: 10th grade
School: Northampton High School
Parents: Amy Jo Mitrani and Bob Marmor.
Siblings: Jacob Mitrani Marmor
Organizations: Rosh Hodesh, B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation, Best Buddies, teacher at Hebrew school at CBI
Hobbies/sports/other interests: rowing, ultimate Frisbee
Future plans: College, then I want to get a job working for the UN or an international nonprofit where I can go to these countries and physically help
What is the most important Jewish issue to you and why?
A: The most important Jewish issue for me is caring for others. I believe that kindness creates a feeling of safety and comfort. I especially believe in kindness towards children because it creates a positive foundation in which they can potentially escape a cycle of poverty. Kindness to others can change someone’s outlook on the world and eventually their life.
What tikkun olam projects have you been a part of and explain what you’ve learned most about yourself, your Jewish values, and your community through the experiences?
A: I went to Lander~Grinspoon Academy for elementary school, therefore, during my years, I was exposed to many tikkun olam projects including making beds for animals and collecting food to bring to the survival center. For my bat mitzvah, I worked with the Special Olympics, which was amazing. That work inspired me to join Best Buddies. Through these experiences I discovered how our world can unify under the principle of kindness and tikkun olam.
How has your participation in B’nai Tzedek and other tikkun olam activities helped you to grow as a teen leader and activist for tikkun olam? What leadership skills have you learned?
A: Through my participation in tikkun olam, I have learned how much I can emerge as a leader when speaking about things I truly care about. Because of this, I have been able to make a difference in the things in this world that I truly care about. Tikkun olam has helped to give me my voice.
How did your past experiences contribute to your interest in joining B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation? How do you imagine your experience in BTYF will affect your life and future participation in tzedakah and philanthropy?
A: Because of the kind, nurtured foundation that LGA gave me, I have been able to go through my life with compassion and a deep sense of tikkun olam that led me to B’nai Tzedek. I believe and hope that B’nai Tzedek can lead me to a full life of helping others and changing lives with kindness and smiles. This kindness can bring hope to the impoverished and the hungry, and eventually can even change the aspects of the world.
This project is a collaboration between the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Western Massachusetts Jewish Ledger. The project goal is to support and recognize Jewish teen leadership and commitment to tzedakah and tikkun olam.