Shalom Life | April 03, 2015

Wonderful Initiative Helps Over 100 Orphaned Boys Celebrate Bar Mitzvah Together

Colel Chabad organization holds event at Western Wall and International Convention Center in Jerusalem

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: March 31st, 2015 in News » Israel

Photo: Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem


A bar mitzvah, or bat mitzvah, is a milestone for Jewish children making their foyer into adulthood. It’s a time of celebration, pride and, for many, family. However, for some, the celebration can feel empty and meaningless without family around to help celebrate the occasion. Thanks to Colel Chabad, this wasn’t the case for 113 orphaned boys who were brought together to celebrate their bar mitzvahs.

The organization, which is now in its seventh year of operation, recently held a joint bar mitzvah for over one hundred children who’d been orphaned. They brought the boys to Jerusalem and held a ceremony at the Western Wall, followed by a formal banquet at the International Convention Center. The event had all expenses paid for the boys who, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, would not have been able to afford to celebrate this monumental occasion otherwise.

Colel Chabad, which holds events for both boys and girls, and has helped over 1,800 children to date, was started by Rabbi Yitzchak Mishan of Brazil. A father of 13, he lost his wife to illness and understands the pain one feels after the loss of a loved one.

“During times of happiness, I know that there families feel that something is missing in their lives,” he explained in an interview with The Times of Israel. “So our goal was to ensure that children know that they are not alone, that they can be truly happy and that life will go on despite the obvious pain and loss they are feeling.”

The children who came for this mass bar mitzvah were from all around the country, and of diverse backgrounds, with many of them having no experience with religious ceremonies.

“On days like today we want these children to feel the joy that any normal child experiences on their bar mitzvah,” said Rabbi Sholom Duchman in the report, who works as the International Director for Colel Chabad.

The banquet held at the International Convention Center was attended by members of the Knesset and the nation’s chief Rabbis. In addition, each child was brought up on stage in front of the attendees and given both a gift basket and a blessing.

According to the report, Eliana Zilberman, a mother who saw the event, said it “reminded us that people truly care about others.”

“The reality is that for many kids in this situation true happiness is not something they get to feel very often. But today they felt it and we will all remain appreciative for the rest of our lives.”

Belgian Insurance Company Refuses Jewish Kindergarten Due to 'High Risk' of anti-Semitic Attack Trending Indian Community Holds Massive 'Model Seder' for Passover TrendingYom Hashoah 2015 Commemoration Features a New, Compelling Twist Yom Hashoah 2015 Commemoration Features a New, Compelling Twist Trending
 

Belgian Insurance Company Refuses Jewish Kindergarten Due to 'High Risk' of anti-Semitic Attack

April 02, 2015 | By Ynet News
Belgian Insurance Company Refuses Jewish Kindergarten Due to 'High Risk' of anti-Semitic Attack

Company cites recent wave of anti-Semitic terror attacks in Europe

Read More

WATCH: Wale and Jerry Seinfeld Call Rick Ross to Celebrate 'The Album About Nothing'

April 02, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
WATCH: Wale and Jerry Seinfeld Call Rick Ross to Celebrate 'The Album About Nothing'

The unlikely duo called 'Black Bar Mitzvah' rapper to tell him the good news

Read More

Toronto's Iconic My Zaidy's Bakery Offers Kosher-for-Passover Pizza

April 02, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Toronto's Iconic My Zaidy's Bakery Offers Kosher-for-Passover Pizza

It's the first of its kind in the city of Toronto

Read More

Indian Musicians Blow Past Versions Of 'Hava Nagila' Out Of The Water [VIDEO]

April 02, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Indian Musicians Blow Past Versions Of 'Hava Nagila' Out Of The Water [VIDEO]

Sang by Amrutam Gamaya, and performed on Music Mojo, it may be the most incredible rendition you'll ever hear of this popular Israeli folk song

Read More

Ten Amazing Kosher for Passover Desserts, In Pictures

April 02, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Ten Amazing Kosher for Passover Desserts, In Pictures

Just because it's Passover doesn't mean you shouldn't indulge in your sweet tooth

Read More

This New Israeli Drone Camera Follows You Around During Your High-Speed Activities

April 01, 2015 | By Daniel Asper, NoCamels
This New Israeli Drone Camera Follows You Around During Your High-Speed Activities

Percepto essentially removes the cumbersome barrier of trying to manually videotape your surfing or hiking sessions

Read More

Drake Got Picked On Hardcore for April Fool's Day

April 01, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Drake Got Picked On Hardcore for April Fool's Day

But if anyone can take a joke, it's the 6 God himself

Read More

Fiddler on the Roof Himself to Receive Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

April 01, 2015 | By JNS.org
Fiddler on the Roof Himself to Receive Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Chaim Topol will forever be known for playing the role of Tevye in the iconic musical

Read More

More Headlines