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B'nei Mitzvah

A child becomes an adult in the Jewish community when they become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Our rabbis oversee the B'nei Mitzvah program and work closely with the students, families, tutors and the ritual committee to ensure that each Bar and Bat Mitzvah experience is meaningful and appropriate for the individual child. 

An updated b'nei mitzvah handbook explaining all the details is available here. It covers everything from date assignments to honors. For more information, please contact Melissa Benson.

Some families like to create a program to handout on the day of the B'nei Mitzvah. You can find a sample program here. If you would like a word copy of the program, so you can fill in the information, please contact Melissa Benson.

Having an aliyah

5781 B'nei Mitzvah Projects

Seth B., January 9
For my Bar Mitzvah project, I will collect goods to donate to the RAM Pantry - my school’s food pantry, which provides a food resource for anyone in need in my immediate community. This is an important service project because it provides food to those in need, and it makes a positive effect in my community. One way you can help support this cause is to bring nonperishable goods to Robinson Secondary School, or another way you can donate food is through Food for Others, which is a food pantry supported by the Olam Tikvah Social Action Committee; their Power Pack program provides meals for people who wouldn’t have food to eat without school-provided meals. You can find more information about the OT-Food for Others Power Pack program here.

Xander S., February 20
My Bar Mitzvah Project is all about community. More than 70,000 people live in poverty in Fairfax County. Food for Others distributes food to more than 2,600 local families in need each week. I collected non-perishable food for their warehouse. After my Bar Mitzvah, I'm still collecting financial contributions to support Food for Others.

Joshua L., February 27
My bar mitzvah project is to support Vienna Foodies. Vienna Foodies is a local Facebook group that supports local restaurants, food insecure families, and first responders. This organization encourages people to go to local area restaurants to help them when they are in need. Vienna Foodies also donates food to essential business workers to help thank them for their support in these difficult times. This past summer my siblings and I went to Vienna on our bikes about 3 times a week to local restaurants to take photos for Vienna Foodies and help support our local community. During this pandemic when many of these businesses are barely surviving, I wanted to help because I feel that people can connect through the local community. This group donates to those risking their lives to help others and those who cannot afford their own necessities. I’m also now raising money for this group to continue helping the community. You can contribute by going to local Vienna restaurants and send photos to the Vienna Foodies Facebook page

Ezra F., March 6
Ezra's Bar Mitzvah project is a "donut run" to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of America: Just CLICK HERE to visit his page!

Andy B., March 13
For his Bar Mitzvah project, Andy is raising money for Camp Ramah New England’s scholarship fund, so he can help share the joy of Camp Ramah with others.

Dean B., March 20
Dean is passionate about sports and chose to support Level the Playing Field for his Bar Mitzvah project. Please donate new or gently used sports equipment in the OT lobby to support youth sports. CLICK HERE for a list of needed equipment.

Karina M., April 3
Karina will return to her bat mitzvah project, raising funds for a Guinea Pig rescue, once the health crisis is manageable.

Emmett A., April 10
For his Bar Mitzvah project, Emmett is leading an effort with Annandale and Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Clubs to bring friends and neighbors together to pack meals for those in need in our local area.

Elana C., April 24
Her Mitzvah Project was making and selling custom designed friendship bracelets, which proceeds she donated to Poplar Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Sophie F., May 1
As a devoted dog lover, Sophie's Bat Mitzvah project involves raising funds for the Homeward Trails Animal Shelter in Fairfax, VA.

Samantha T., May 15
For Samantha’s Mitzvah project she will be working with an animal rescue organization.

Amelie R., May 22
For my bat mitzvah project I am writing letters to nursing home residents. I would really like it if other people got involved as well. It would mean a lot to me because it’s important that the nursing home residents don’t feel alone. There are two organizations I am writing through, Love for Our Elders and Ready to Care. For more information, please email Amelie.

Zahavah B., May 29
For her Bat Mitzvah project, Zahavah is making jewelry to raise money for the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, the animal rescue organization where her family adopted their dog, LuLu.

Jack S., June 5
Jack is combining his love of gardening and Tikkan Olam by creating a community garden that will produce hundreds of pounds of vegetables for the area food bank.

Isaac G., June 12
My mitzvah project is collecting art supplies for low income senior citizens through JSSA. This project means a lot to me because being alone in COVID is hard, and I want to make life a little happier for the elderly in my community. JSSA Care managers will bring the art supplies to low income senior clients, especially those who are isolated and in need of the therapeutic benefits. There are 2 ways to donate: drop off at Olam Tikvah or donate money via an Amazon gift card or pick out supplies from our Amazon Wish List.

Cat B., June 26
My Simchat Mitzvah project is Cat Cares, a collaboration with Olam Tikvah Sisterhood’s program, Stock the Shelves, to help reduce food scarcity by collecting food for Food for Others. A monetary donation can be made HERE. Please list my email address ( so I can keep track of our wonderful progress! A food donation can be made HERE and food will be shipped directly to Food for Others. Thank you for supporting Stock the Shelves and Cat Cares!

Ella S., August 21
Ella's Bat Mitzvah project is planting trees in Israel to help with the environment and you can support it by contributing to Jewish National Fund Tree Planting.

Toby T., August 28
Toby’s Bar Mitzvah project is to collect and donate used sporting equipment to Leveling the Playing Field, which provides equipment to under-resourced youth groups, community programs, and schools throughout the area.

Wed, September 22 2021 16 Tishrei 5782