I am so excited to celebrate my Bat Mitzvah with my family and friends. This is a special occasion for me that I’ll remember forever. However, I can’t help but consider that during these unprecedented times, there have been so many people that have suffered from illness, loss of a family member, loss of jobs. This year more than 2.5 million children will experience homelessness, I immediately knew that I could help in some way when I read this. The Jewish tradition teaches us that Tzedakah, or charitable giving, should be a central part of our lives. With that in mind, I want to ask that instead of gifts for my Bat Mitzvah, please consider donating to Families Promise of Essex County (previously known as Interfaith Hospitality Network).
Families Promise is a not-for-profit organization that provides shelter, professional support services and housing assistance so families experiencing homelessness can find and sustain a home. We do this with help from an extensive network of volunteers, generous individuals and other partners throughout our community. My family and I spend time with families in this program annually when they stay at our temple. I know these families are struggling, but I am always encouraged by how much hope they have and want to help in any way I can.