Samantha Waldenberg of Livingston, NJ, wanted to create a Mitzvah Project that would directly affect the lives of kids her own age. “I wanted to do a hands-on project and be in direct contact with someone my age in Israel,” Samantha explains. “I felt that it was important that my Mitzvah Project involve Israel, and involve teenagers.”
To accomplish her goal, Samantha worked with One Family Fund, which is an organization that works to help Israel’s victims of terror. The organization raises money, but it also collects “all human resources.” The non-profit organization brings together people who have suffered through terror attacks, along with caring people who thankfully haven’t. The organization connects people in Israel with people in almost every country in the world.
One way that One Family Fund connects people is through “twinning” so that a youth in Israel may have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah despite the difficulty their family faces. A child in Israel is paired up with a child in a different part of the world who sponsors the Israeli child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah. This is how Samantha decided to get involved with One Family Fund, and it resulted in a meaningful Mitzvah Project and a life-altering experience for her and her “twin.”
“I contacted One Family Fund, and they set up a meeting with my Israeli twin Tamar during our trip to Israel last Passover,” Samantha explains. “I then corresponded with Tamar through emails and letters, and helped raise money for One Family Fund through an event we held at our house. In attendance were several Israeli girls who spoke about how their lives had been affected by terrorism. As a result, many families in my community donated money to support the efforts of One Family Fund to aid families affected by terrorism. While I appreciate the generosity of our friends and family, I am working on other ideas to raise additional money for One Family Fund, and to try to get other kids involved.”
Samantha also adds, “I liked the idea of twinning with a girl in Israel to pay for her Bat Mitzvah, since I was fortunate enough to be have my Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall.”
We want to thank Samantha for sharing her Mitzvah Project with us. Samantha, your Project is both global and personal, and we thank you for showing us how one kid can truly make a difference!