How many Mitzvah kids do you know that are planning to publish a book?
Meet Alexandra Kukoff, a seventh grader from Thousand Oaks, California who felt overwhelmed when it came time to decide what to do for her Bat Mitzvah project.
Her Bat Mitzvah was fast approaching (August 20, 2011), and she wanted to complete a project that would enable her to make a contribution to society.
So she decided to write a book! “A Jewish Girl’s Guide to a Bat Mitzvah Project” is a compilation of stories of girls and women who have completed inspiring, interesting and amazing B’not Mitzvah Projects, regardless of when they completed them.
Until the book is published by Behrman House, you can read all the great stories on her blog.
We caught up with Alexandra (who is pictured above) to ask her some questions and learn more:
MM: Why did you decide to complete this particular Mitzvah Project?
AK: When I was in the process of choosing a Bat Mitzvah project, I felt overwhelmed with all the project opportunities. By the time I wanted to contribute to all of them, my Bat Mitzvah would have been long gone. My book, “A Jewish Girl’s Guide to a Bat Mitzvah Project,” will hopefully inspire many girls to get active and contribute to a Mitzvah Project, and in that way, I personally can contribute to many different causes at once.
MM: Can you give us details about your book?
AK: In my book, “A Jewish Girl’s Guide to a Bat Mitzvah Project,” I interview girls and women, who have had their Bat Mitzvahs from long ago to just recently, about their amazing Mitzvah Projects, and I include their stories in my Mitzvah Project profiles.
MM: When did you first start writing your book?:
AK: I first started writing my book in the summer of 2010, and my book will be published next fall by Behrman House publications.
MM: How did you get the book published?
AK: To find a publisher, my mother and I contacted the head of Behrman House, who suggested writing a blog alongside my book and led us to Aviva Werner, my editor.
MM: Tell us in your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
AK: To me, completing a Bar/Bat Mitzvah project is a way to help the community and, in the simplest sense, to do a Mitzvah. And to me, that is the most rewarding thing a person can do.
MM: What are you doing to spreading the word?
AK: All the proceeds from my book will be donated to Nes Gadol, a program in Vista Del Mar that helps underprivileged girls and women with special needs realize their dreams of becoming Bat Mitzvot. Vista Del Mar helps tutor and fund these girls’ Bat Mitzvot. To spread the word about Nes Gadol, I am speaking about the program whenever I speak at or attend an event for my project, and I include a bit about Nes Gadol in the flyers I pass out.
MM: Please give us one great idea from your book.
AK: I recently profiled an amazing Mitzvah Project about Kinneret Katz, who took huge steps to conserving the water in Lake Kinneret.
MM: How long can people donate to this project?
AK: Although my book will be published next fall, people can continue donating to Nes Gadol long after my book has been published.
MM: How can people buy your book if interested?
AK: My book will not be published until next fall, but if interested in having me profile your Mitzvah Project email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to see Alexandra speaking at the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Mitzvah Mania, click here.
We thank Alex for sharing her creative project with our readers. It’s another great example of how you can take your own talents and put them to use for a good cause!