Orphaned Israeli teens share Barmitzvah joy
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2012-04-11
Barmitzvah boy Josh Romero
Teenage Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrants in the USA are making their special day more meaningful - by sharing it with orphans who are celebrating their own coming of age in Israel.
The Florida scheme was initiated by the Diskin Orphan fund, a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to care for and educate orphans in the Holy Land - and so far it has proven popular.
Among those who have taken part was recent Barmitzvah boy Josh Romero from Boca Raton, who said of the idea, I think that every boy or girl who can't afford to have a bar or bat mitzvah should be able to have one.
"If I wasn't able to have a bar mitzvah, it would really be a bummer to me and thanks to Diskin Orphan Fund, I was able to share this experience with a less fortunate teen in Israel."
Fund-raiser Bruria Angela also praised the initiative, saying it will create a spiritual bond between American and Israeli teens that will last a lifetime.
"This is an important celebration for a child who has lost a parent, whose home life is overcast with poverty and struggle to survive," she explained.
"For over a century, Beit Diskina -?? The Diskin Home for Orphans, has accepted responsibility for thousands of young people whose lives have been shattered by tragedy and loss. The cost for providing even the most basic minimal needs for a bar or bat mitzvah is $1,800. "Not one penny of this money is wasted," she said.
82 children supported by the organisation are set to reach bar or bat mitzvah age over the next 18 months.
"For the rest of their lives these celebrants will remember this special milestone in their lives and will draw strength and inspiration from it just as Josh and his friends," Angela revealed.