12-year-old Charlotte Zemmel and 13-year-old Max Glaskie have marked their respective Bat and Bar Mitzvahs by donating some of their gift money to the brand new Big B’Mitzvah Appeal.
Yavneh student Charlotte, of Hale Synagogue, and King David pupil Max, of South Manchester Synagogue, donated £100 each to the appeal.
The Big B’Mitzvah appeal encourages Bar and Bat Mitzvah children to donate a little of the money they receive for their simcha to help Jewish children in need. It was launched at King David High School by the Big Birthday Appeal in May this year.
The Big Birthday Appeal has created two striking donation cards for the new appeal – one for Bar Mitzvahs and the other for Bat Mitzvahs – priced at £2.50 each. By buying the cards, friends and family of the children can also raise money for charity. Every donation, no matter how small, makes a difference.
All of the money raised from the cards and the children’s donations go to The Federation of Jewish Services (FJS) to fund an indoor sensory room and an outdoor play area for children with special needs. All the children who give a donation to the appeal – whether large or small – will be invited to visit the new facilities once they are completed, so that they can see for themselves what their generosity has funded. They will also each receive a framed certificate of thanks.
Charlotte said: “I received so many generous gifts for my Bat Mitzvah and wanted to put a little of that to help a really good cause. I also wanted my first action as a Jewish woman to be a mitzvah. I hope others will do the same so that the new play areas can be built quickly and children with special needs will have somewhere amazing to play.”
Suzy Glaskie, co-founder of the Big Birthday Appeal, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Big B’Mitzvah Appeal has got off to such a flying start, with the cards selling like hot cakes and our first donations in from children celebrating their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
“We’re extremely proud of Charlotte and Max for choosing to donate some of their gift money to children in need. We hope that many other Bar and Bat Mitzvah children will also decide to use this milestone to help local children with special needs. Every donation will be a fantastic gesture and will be very welcome, no matter how small.”
Karen Phillips, Chief Executive of the Federation of Jewish Services, said: “This is a fantastic example of how important it is to think of others who may need support. All donations make a huge difference to us and quite simply mean we can help more people. A very big thank you to Charlotte and Max!”