Nicole Meyer from South Salem, New York celebrated her Bat Mitzvah in October 2009, but just went on a family trip to Israel to meet her “twin.”
Pictured left Nicole and her new friend and “twin” Liron. We spoke to her about this special trip and what it meant to her.
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular Mitzvah Project?
NM: When my Bat Mitzvah was approaching last October, I struggled to come up with an idea for my Mitzvah Project.
After endless hours of research, I discovered AMIT. As I read about AMIT’s commitment to helping Israeli children in need, I decided that this was definitely the cause I wanted to support. I also found out about Amit’s twinning program that would allow me to be paired up with a girl in Israel, also of Bat Mitzvah age. I would get the opportunity to celebrate with my twin in Israel. I knew that this program would fulfill my goal of doing something “hands on.”
MM: How did you go about raising money for this project?
NM: Last Purim, my Mom helped me bake hamantaschen to sell at my Temple’s Purim carnival in order to raise money for the schools. I also donated 10% of my Bat Mitzvah gifts to AMIT.
MM: Who were you paired with?
NM: I soon learned that I was twinned with Liron Monsonega. Since I planned to visit Israel in the summer following my Bat Mitzvah, I would also make a visit to the Maale Adumim Elementary School in Jerusalem for a celebration with Liron.
On June 28, my family and I went to visit the school. During the drive over, I was nervous, because I didn’t speak conversational Hebrew. I had no idea how I would talk to my twin, and the other girls I would be celebrating with. As we walked towards the school, Liron, all her classmates, and their teacher were there to welcome me with hugs. It was heartwarming. In the classroom, we glazed pottery and communicated through a translator, the girls’ English teacher. I realized that we had much in common, even though we were from different countries. They seemed just like my friends at home. They were always laughing and jumping around. After pottery, the girls presented me with unexpected gifts, and Liron and I blew out the candles on a birthday cake.
Nicole, her family and the girls/teachers from Maale Adumim Elementary School
The celebration was coming to a close. The girls and I sang two Israeli songs together, and we took many pictures. Girls kept coming up to hug me, and we exchanged emails in order to keep in touch. This was an experience I will never forget, as long as I live. It made my Bat Mitzvah all the more special, and it impacted my life as well as all of the girls I became friends with that day.
We would like to thank Nicole for sharing her special Mitzvah Project with Mitzvah Market. Read about Nicole brother’s project archived on MitzvahMarket.com.