Alana Segelman of Randolph, New Jersey became a Bat Mitzvah on December 1, 2012. For her Bat Mitzvah project she chose an organization called, Lev Lalev Fund which benefits The Rubin Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel. The home was founded in 1962 by the late revered Rebbe of Sanz-Klausenburg when, one evening, a desperate widower abandoned his five small children at the Rebbe’s doorstep.
The Lev LaLev Fund was established in August 2006, with the mission to nurture and care for Jewish girls in need throughout Israel. Lev LaLev has a special Bat Mitzvah Project program. They help girls design a Bat Mitzvah project that will raise funds for a “twin” orphaned girl in Israel. The donations help each girl’s twin and enjoy the extra fun things that go along with a Bat Mitzvah — hair, make-up, a new dress, a trip to the Kotel (Western Wall), photo album, and party.
Alana chose to raise money for her Mitzvah twin named Mazal by organizing a Day of Beauty at The Artistic Academy, a local cosmetology school. We think that Alana is beautiful both inside and out.
We asked her some questions to learn more about this special project:
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project?
AS: I decided to take on a Lev LaLev project because I’m so thankful that I could have such an amazing Bat Mitzvah, and I wanted to make another girl feel as happy and lucky as I do. Lev Lalev means “Heart to Heart,” and is an organization to care for Jewish girls in need throughout Israel.
Here is a picture of some of the girls who can be helped by a donation
MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
AS: To me, doing a Mitzvah project means taking on the responsibility to help a girl less fortunate than me, and helping her feel just as thankful as I am.
MM: Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
AS: My aunt Sherri told me about an organization in Israel called the Lev LaLev Fund, which means “Heart to Heart.” It benefits orphaned girls at the Rubin Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya Israel, which was founded by Rabbi Halberstam in 1962. Rabbi Halberstam lost his wife and 11 children in the Holocaust and spent the rest of his life doing good for others. I decided to set up a Lev LaLev fundraiser for a girl at the home named Mazal. We kind of look alike. The money I raised went towards the extras for Mazal’s Bat Mitzvah —- hair, makeup, a new dress, photos, and for Mazal to visit the Kotel (Western Wall.) The Artistic Academy, a local cosmetology school in Morris Plains, New Jersey that was started by DePasquale Spa, agreed to sponsor my “Day of Beauty” this past spring. They were so generous. The school committed to donating 100% of the fees for services we raised during my Day of Beauty to the Lev LaLev Fund for the orphaned girls. We raised a lot of money for Mazal and I know we helped to make her Bat Mitzvah extra special.
Alana talks Essie nail polish colors with her Mom’s friends Karen, a chef (www.azestforlife.com) who made her Tiffany turquoise Bat Mitzvah cake, and Esther, a religious school teacher, comedienne and Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor
This beautiful collage displayed at Alana’s Bat Mitzvah service and reception celebrates both Alana and Mazal. It reads, “Mazel Tov Alana” under Alana’s picture, and “Mazel Tov Mazal” under Mazal’s picture
MM: How did you spread the word about your Mitzvah Project?
AS: I invited all my friends and my Mom’s friends to my Day of Beauty and asked those who couldn’t attend on April 9, to give a donation. I also put out flyers at my synagogue and got some beauty clients and donations through that connection. I liked that people weren’t just writing a check, but enjoying something fun while still feeling good about donating.
MM: For how long can people donate to this charity?
AS: There will always be orphaned girls, and there will always be a need for support at The Rubin Zeffren Children’s Home. I will always be taking donations for Lev LaLev or people can donate on the Lev LaLev Website, For more information they can contact: Sheena Levi, Director of Outreach, email@example.com, 845-367-7130
We want to thank Alana for sharing this great idea with our Mitzvah Market readers.
Please note: Lev LaLev plans to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of 17 orphaned girls in Israel on February 18th. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in helping fund and/or attending the event please go to www.levlalev.com/gala