We read about a great Bat Mitzvah Project by Shoshana Winter in the Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut that we wanted to share.
Tali Kobrin is a 6th grader from the Bronx, New York chose her Mitzvah Project after a recent family trip to Israel. “I wanted to help an organization in Israel. I visited SHALVA this past summer after hearing a lot about their work and I was blown away by what I saw there,” she said.
SHALVA, the Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children in Israel, is dedicated to offering high quality care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. It is non-denominational and free-of-charge, SHALVA’s programs provide care from infancy through adulthood, empowering parents to raise their children with special needs within the family framework.
Pictured Left: Tali is holding the sign surrounded by her friends on the day of “Color Run.”
What Tali wasn’t sure about was just what she was going to do to support this important organization. Lucky enough to be the third of four Kobrin daughters, two of whom had already experienced their own Bat Mitzvah projects, she leaned on her big sisters for inspiration. “I wanted to do something related to exercise and one of my sisters suggested a ‘color run’ and I loved the idea. This was a project for the whole family to plan and run, which is what made it so special,” Tali said.
What is a “color run?” According to the email invitation Tali sent out, “a Color Run is pure fun—there’s no set time or distance required, we’ll just all wear white, do our best, and have fun! Each time around the track you will get sprayed with a color—eight times around the track is two miles, and every color of the rainbow.”
On Sunday morning September 6, 2015 in Van Cortland Park, New York about 100 friends and family joined Tali for her color run to support SHALVA. Every participant received a white T-shirt emblazoned with the message “I ran…..” The run took place on a smaller track so that there was more of an opportunity to get your T-shirt as colorful as possible. At the end of each loop, there were 2 or 3 designated “sprayers,” who were responsible for spraying colors on each of the runners. It was quite a sight to behold—parents running with kids in strollers, grandparents, parents, friends and children of every age running, walking and laughing—getting more and more messy as the run progressed. In addition to the Kobrin family and friends, Tali was joined by many of her friends and classmates who had not seen each other since the beginning of the summer, making it a special day to kick off a year of Bat Mitzvah celebrations.
In addition to the run, Tali also invited participants to assemble and decorate Rosh Hashanah care packages to be distributed to local homebound elderly through the Bronx Jewish Community Council. The Rosh Hashanah packages were filled with apples and honey and a personalized “Shana Tova” card for each recipient.
Being able to actively participate in a Bat Mitzvah’s act of chesed was truly a special and unique experience, which was evident by the smiles, hugs and laughter in the crowd. For Tali, it was both fun and meaningful. “Becoming a Bat Mitzvah is a new stage of life where other people, and Hashem, have higher expectations for you,” she said. “The kids at SHALVA have different challenges than I do—people have different expectations for them. I hope the money I raise can help them reach new levels and exceed expectations.” It sounds like she is off to a great start.
We would like to thank Shoshana Winter, the Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut and Tali for sharing this creative Mitzvah Project.