B’nei Mitzvah Simcha Project


B'nei Mitzvah Simcha Project


As Jewish teens take on responsibility, they may support The Blue Card with a more personal commitment.

Working with The Anne Frank Center USA, The Blue Card created The Simcha Project, an engaging program for B’nei Mitzvah students. Many Bar and Bat Mitzvah students seek to enrich their experience of this milestone event by strengthening their ties to the global Jewish community and by performing tzedakah, an act of charity.

The program is especially designed for middle-school students; however, students of all ages, and individuals celebrating a simcha or special occasion, are also eligible. Participants learn about the Holocaust through the eyes of Anne Frank after which they begin their individual projects such as interviews or videos diaries with survivors. The opportunity to meet with and interview survivors of the Shoah, understand the enduring lessons of this tragic history, and enhance a personal connection to Judaism all make The Simcha Project a truly unforgettable experience. The kids finish their projects by donating a portion of the monetary presents to help needy Holocaust survivors served by The Blue Card.


Sophia Klass – veteran B’nei Mitzvah Simcha Project
In preparing for her Bat Mitzvah, Sophia Klass decided to participate in the Simcha Project. She was introduced to Rena Wallach Bernstein, who, as a four-year-old girl, lived for twenty-two months with a Polish family in the forest near Lesko during World War II. Sophia learned that Rena’s parents, Jafa and Nathan Wallach, were sheltered by a Polish engineer; they lived in a narrow earthen cellar below the floor of his workshop. On either side of the workshop were buildings used by Nazis and Ukrainians, so their survival was in jeopardy every day. Rena, in contrast, was allowed to roam freely about the forest, eating berries, exploring the trees and befriending the animals. She missed her parents and had limited interaction with the couple that sheltered her. They were sometimes pressured by extended family members to kill her, for fear that they would be killed by the Nazis for taking care of a Jewish child, but the engineer persuaded them to keep her. At the end of the war, Rena was reunited with both her parents. The Wallach family survived thanks to Jozef Zwonarz, who was named a Righteous Gentile. Jafa Wallach wrote her memoir Bitter Freedom in 1959 and it was published in 2006.

For more information, please visit Bneimitzvah.org

To join the B’nei Mitzvah Simcha Project, please email Info@BlueCardFund.org with subject line “B’nei Mitzvah Simcha Project”.

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