An interview for the Jewish Ledger with B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation Members
Age/grade: 18 / 12th grade
Parents: Rich & Ellen
Affiliations with other Jewish & secular organizations: B’nai Tzedek, DJST (Don’t Just Sit There)
Hobbies/sports/other interests: Tennis
Future plans (college/career): college
Your Tikkun Olam Experiences
What is the most important Jewish issue to you and why?
A: Tzedakah because it’s one of the core values of Judaism. In B’nai Tzedek and in other organizations I can do tzedakah on a number of different levels which is a great opportunity.
What was the first mitzvah project you ever worked on and explain what you’ve learned most about yourself, your Jewish values, and your community through the experiences?
A: My bar mitzvah when I donated some of the money I received to Israel to plant trees. I’ve also planted flowers outside of Ruth’s House and projects with the ill, elderly or poor. I achieve my sense of duty to do tzedakah and give back.
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: B’nai Tzedek has helped me grow as a teen leader because I’ve learned from teen leaders before me to be good at fundraising and helping others and now I’ve transitioned into the role of leading and helping others for the past four years.
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: My bar mitzvah project led to me to join B’nai Tzedek and its values and emphasis on tzedakah. B’nai Tzedek has made me value tzedakah and I won’t hesitate to give in the future.
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.