Thursday, April 9, 2015
Fireman Max bar mitzvah crowdsourcing! Wanted: good deed ideas
The one thing I know so far about Max's bar mitzvah, besides the temple we're having it in and that it will be in April 2016, is that it'll have a fire truck theme. So, wheeee! That'll be fun to do.
For the uninitiated, at age 13 a Jewish boy becomes obligated to observe the commandments; a bar mitzvah is the coming-of-age ceremony that marks the occasion. They often include a religious service, followed by a party. I'll be putting together a ceremony, with Max's input, so that it will be meaningful to him. We'll use his iPad. There will blessings ready by family and friends. And songs. And maybe a fireman jumping out of a cake! OK, not that.
One modern-day tradition is having a bar mitzvah boy (or bat mitzvah girl) complete a "mitzvah project" during the year. In common usage, the word means a good deed and typically kids commit to some sort of social action project. Teens I know have done things like regularly visiting a senior center, collecting clothing for orphanages in other countries and sponsoring food drives. Oftentimes, kids with special needs are on the receiving end of these projects.
My friend Marjorie Ingall wrote a great article for Tablet that noted it's key for mitzvah projects to have real meaning; asking for donations just doesn't cut it. I couldn't agree more, and I really want to help Max come up with something that speaks to him. But first, I need some starter ideas to offer up.
Our local fire station collects can; the money they get from selling them benefits burn victims. Max could join in on that, but I'm also thinking it would be cool for him to come up with something that he could own.
So…thoughts? All ideas will be vetted by Fireman Max!