A Unique Bar Mitzvah Project by David Lilienfeld from Margate, New Jersey:
I love computers. I love using them, fixing them, refurbishing them. When I grow up I want to be a computer science engineer. So when it came time to choose a Mitzvah Project, I decided to use my technological abilities to help others.
I’ve always had computers and electronics around me all my life and I realize how lucky I am because I have seen many people who do not have this privilege. I know how important computers are.
When I thought about my mitzvah project, I wanted to do something meaningful and involve what I enjoy doing. When you enter Jewish adulthood, you need to learn responsibility and do good for your community. I realized that there were a lot of computers out there that weren’t being used and a lot of people who could use them to find a job, fill out an application, or to do their homework. If we gave them a computer they would be able to do all of these things.
My mom hired a computer technician to teach me how to reformat and rebuild computers that have outlived their usefulness to their owners. My goal is to deliver 35 computers to people who can use them in Atlantic County, NJ, where I live, by the time of my Bar Mitzvah in May 2016. I’ve already received a dozen donated computers. Some were desktops that were so old and not Wi-Fi capable/wireless, so they were given to a nearby recycling center. The others are ready to be upgraded and given a new life.
I want to distribute computers to people who really want them and need them, and I know they will be put to good use. It is very meaningful to me to be able to personally deliver the computers and meet the people who will benefit from their use.
I have a website, a Facebook page and a PayPal account to get the word out to donors and families who can use a computer. We also accept monetary donations that will be used to purchase hard drives, routers and software. I’d also like to raise enough money to provide the new owners with Internet access for a year.
To help spread the word about my project, I created a youtube video to explain it
I have distributed flyers at my synagogue, Beth Judah, and at Atlantic City High School and the Margate schools asking for donations of old computers as well as looking for suitable people in need of our computers.
There’s a huge need out there. Most people need laptops, so we are getting more selective about what we can accept. We need
computers that are five years old or less and they must have the required power cords. I will reformat the donated computers to
completely clear any personal data left by the previous owner, and then set them up in the new owner’s home.
I’ve even emailed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to see if they would help…but I haven’t heard back from them yet.
By doing this project, I hope to not only help those who need computers get one, but I also hope to inspire others to give away things that could be of use to someone else. You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If my project is successful, I would like to expand outside of my local area and give out computers to people in need all over the US.
David Lilienfield is a 7th grader from Margate, NJ, who attends Eugene A. Tighe School. For information about his project or to make a donation of a laptop, monitor, router or financial contribution, go to: www.davidsdigitaldonations.org
This story is from new 2015 Mitzvah Market Magazine. If you would like to request a free copy, click here.