There are thousands of children in Israel each year who are unable to participate in and celebrate this momentous occasion.

Every year, WIZO branches throughout Israel organise group Bar and Bat Mitzvah programmes for children whose families who are unable to afford a personal celebration.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah programmes have been held in the cities of Jerusalem, Petach Tikvah, Holon, Ramat Gan, Afula, Haifa and Netanya for small groups of twenty to forty children who reach this important religious milestone in their lives.

The boys and girls participating in the WIZO Bar and Bat Mitzvah programme are from disadvantaged families affected by poverty, family crisis, bereavement or are single parent families or immigrants from Russia or Ethiopia.

Without WIZO, these children would not be celebrating their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

The WIZO Bar/Bat Mitzvah programme includes:

  • Jewish educational classes
  • Bar Mitzvah boys – Aliyah to the Torah (called up to the Torah)
  • Trip to Jerusalem and the Kotel (usually their first time)
  • Participation in community volunteer work.
  • A festive family celebration
  • Gifts of religious articles e.g. for boys –tefillin, tallit and siddur and for girls – silver candlesticks, Magen David necklace and siddur.

By participating in this special WIZO programme, the children gain a deeper understanding of Judaism and Tzedakah. It helps them become more productive members of society and creates connections between families and the community.

If you would like to help a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah child in Israel through your own Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration this year, there are a lot of sponsorship opportunities you could consider!

  • For $180 WIZO can provide gifts of religious items to A Bar/Bat Mitzvah child.
  • For $600 WIZO can provide one child with participation in the Bar or Bat Mitzvah Programme which includes classes for a year, volunteer activities, a ceremony, a simcha, an outing to Jerusalem and religious gifts.

Select an amount for WIZO to donate to areas you may have a particular interest in e.g. The Pet Therapy Programme, providing extracurricular activities for disadvantaged children or support the WIZ Kids program for one year

In lieu of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift, a guest can make donation to WIZO in your name.

You could donate some money you receive from your own Bar/Bat Mitzvah to the WIZO programme.

Please call WIZO Victoria on 9272 5588 if you would like to participate.

You will be joining other Bar and Bat Mitzvah children around the world who helped Bar and Bat Mitzvah aged children in Israel to celebrate their special time in their lives. Your donation will be recognised with a certificate from the President of WIZO Victoria.

Case Study - Ruti

Ruti is one of the forty eight boys and girls who participated in the WIZO Bar and Bat Mitzvah programme organised by WIZO Tel Aviv in Israel.

Ruti attends activities at the WIZO Youth Club in the afternoon after school. Ruti was two years old when her mother died and she has five brothers and sisters in her family.

The Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and the World Chairperson of WIZO spoke to all the children and their families at their ceremony.

After her Bat Mitzvah celebration, Ruti said “Today I feel like I am the most important person in the world.”

Saskia Liberman

Ruth Kurc, Education Bar/Batmitzvah Co-ordinator and Saskia Liberman

Ruth Kurc, Education Bar/Batmitzvah Co-ordinator and Saskia Liberman

The Libermans had the opportunity to celebrate Saskia’s (Sassi) coming-of-age with three simchas. 

In June 2014, Sassi was part of the Caulfield Shule bat mitzvah graduation ceremony. Celebrations continued two months later with a woman’s torah reading at the Libermans’ residence after Sassi had completed her torah lesson with chazan Brett Kaye. After an inspiring ceremony with over 200 women, guests were treated to a dinner and joyous dancing. And finally, Sassi got the chance to celebrate with her friends at a kids’ party, also held at home. 

In lieu of gifts, Sassi donated to two organisations that are close to her heart – The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and WIZO’s Twinning Program. Sassy had family who received assistance from The Joint after the Holocaust, while Sassi’s mother, grandmother and great- grandmother have all been actively involved with WIZO for many years.

(As seen in the Jewish News 19 December 2014)

Zac Davis

Ruth Kurc, Education Bar/Batmitzvah Co-ordinator and Zac Davis

Ruth Kurc, Education Bar/Batmitzvah Co-ordinator and Zac Davis

Zac celebrated his bar mitzvah with a ceremony at East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation after completing his lessons with Rabbi Avrohom Goldberg. A party was held the following day at Kimberly Gardens, where Zac was joined by three generations of family and friends for this special occasions, including relatives who flew in from Sydney and Canada. As part of his bar mitzvah, Zac chose to make a donation to WIZO. “I wanted to help boys in Israel celebrate their bar mitzvah, as they otherwise would not be able to,” said Zac.

 (As seen in the Jewish News 2nd October 2015)