Seventh-graders at Chicago Jewish Day School and best friends Ariana Handelman and Marc Luban will celebrate their Bat and Bar Mitzvah this November at Anshe Emet Synagogue on Chicago’s North Side.
They want the day to stand out, but not with a big party. So instead of a huge bash, they decided to design and raise money to build a playground at a church in Bronzeville, a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois.
For the community service project, both Ariana and Marc have spent countless hours on playgrounds, and want all kids to have the same opportunities.
Ariana and Marc want their combined Bat and Bar Mitzvah party to be a “Playground Build Day.” They are hoping to invite their families and friends to Bright Star Church on Chicago’s South Side to build a playground in one day, from the ground up. Anshe Emet and Bright Star members will join in the day which will be coordinated by the playground experts from KaBOOM!
The space where the new playground will be built
A fundraiser through Indiegogo has been established seeking to raise $30,000 for the playground on the property. So far they have raised over 37,000!
Instead of receiving monetary gifts for their B’nai Mitzvahs, they are asking for donations to the playground. While there will be small celebrations after their B’nai Mitzvahs, their parents will kick in money that would have gone to a party to the playground effort.
“It was really meaningful how all these people were trying to make the world a better place,” Ariana said. “Even though we were different people in different communities, we all had the same goal.”
Click here for more information on this great Mitzvah project and to go directly to the fundraising page.