A letter to a bnai mitzvah

Today’s guest blogger, Avinoam, has a message for anyone about to celebrate their b’nai mitzvah

Avinoam at his bar mitzvah

Avinoam at his bar mitzvah

 Dear b’nai mitzvah,

Congratulations on your upcoming bat/bar mitzvah!!!

It has been eleven years since my bar mitzvah. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to travel in Central and South America. I’ve spent my time with people who come from completely different backgrounds, some living very hard lives. These people do not have many opportunities to do something they love because of their fight for survival. I’ve met countless people who will sell gum or other small items starting at age 6 or 7 for the rest of their lives —without ever feeling safe or having financial comfort.

bar mitzvah.jpg

 I have learned that you cannot help everyone, but you can help many. My bar mitzvah helped teach me this, because that was the day I started my Genesis Mitzvah Fund through the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. I make charitable donations to the causes I care about through this fund.

 In the eleven years since my bar mitzvah, the amount of money in my fund has nearly doubled. It’s been a true privilege to give back through this fund, especially in a world where so many people are less fortunate and live lives focused on their own survival, not knowing where their next meal will come from or where they will be spending the night. 

 It’s really not a question, in my opinion, whether or not to open a mitzvah fund.  It’s an incredible opportunity to help other people for the rest of your life! In the grand scheme of things, we are here on earth for less than a blink of an eye. Why not spend our time helping others?

 I'm so grateful that I started this mitzvah fund and I can only imagine the impact we will have on the world if you choose to do the same!

 Mazel tov,

Avinoam Kahn

 Celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah? Opening a Genesis Mitzvah Fund gives your friends and family a chance to honor the occasion while building a commitment to tzedakah. It’s easy:

  • Set up a Genesis Mitzvah Fund by contacting Amalie Frankel at 952.417.2366 or afrankel@jewishminneapolis.org

  • Invite your friends and family to contribute to it for your special day (and life events and occasions thereafter)

  • Watch your fund earn interest and grow (tax free) so you have more charitable dollars to give

  • Choose where you want to donate

  • 24/7 online granting portal (DonorCentral) helps you manage your philanthropic funds and make grant recommendations.