Letters for Devorie: Pen Pals and Bat Mitzvah Twins

In a simpler time, pen pal relationships delighted children around the world.  One child would write a letter (on paper, in his/her own handwriting) to someone he/she had never before met, and the recipient would reciprocate.  With every letter delivered, the children would learn about language arts, social studies and geography, whether they realized it or not.  Week after week, … Read More


A very unique procession entered the Old City of Jerusalem’s Dung Gate last week, led by Shira Azar in her wheelchair. Shira is a 12-year-old girl with intellectual developmental disabilities, who lives at ALEH Bnei Brak, and she was on her way to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at the Kotel. The procession included about 20 of Shira’s friends, also residents … Read More

A Surprise Bat Mitzvah Gift for Shira

Yasmin is an incredible young woman from London. Recently, she celebrated her Bat Mitzvah with family and friends. Following the festivities, Yasmin decided to use some of the money she received as Bat Mitzvah gifts to make put a smile on the face of a Bat Mitzvah girl in Israel. After a little research, she chose Shira, a resident of … Read More


To celebrate his upcoming Bar Mitzvah, David Kalmus Souss of São Paulo, Brazil twinned with Shimon, a boy from ALEH Jerusalem with complex disabilities who is also preparing for his Bar Mitzvah. After receiving pictures of Shimon, David decided to raise $2,500 to help pay for Shimon’s specialized care and ensure that Shimon receives a fitting Bar Mitzvah celebration. To … Read More


A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a special day for every child and his or her family. At ALEH Jerusalem, a series of unique activities mark the occasion. Special learning aids and methods are used to enable the children to understand and experience what it feels like to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Last week, at ALEH Jerusalem’s Bar … Read More

Heartwarming letter from Yasmine B. to her ALEH Bat Mitzvah Twin!

Hi Shira, My name is Yasmine, and I am almost 12 years old. I am so exited to be your twin. As you know, Purim was a while ago, so to celebrate YOU and Purim, I started selling my old Purim costumes from my previous years, and we raised 165 pounds already. We turned my garage into a shop. Here are some pictures … Read More


Daniel, a student at the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran special education school, dreamed of having his Bar Mitzvah in Beit HaMikdash. This may sound far-fetched, but good will, that stretched over the ocean, helped Daniel come as close as possible to realizing his dream. A class of students from the Beth Jacob school in Redwood city, California, decided to collect money … Read More

Amazing Kids make an Amazing Video for ALEH's Children!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We are thankful for amazing friends like Mati Franco David and her 6th – 8th grade students at The Solomon Schechter Day School in Marlboro, NJ. Once again, her students will be developing a chessed project to support ALEH. Their first act of kindness was purchasing Chanukah gifts for their friends and families from the ALEH Boutique. They … Read More

My Special Bar Mitzvah with the Children of ALEH

JVN ( Jewish Volunteering Network) In this edition of our blog, Caroline Cosgrove  writes about the volunteering she and her son James did for his Bar Mitzvah. Here is her story… In the lead up to the Bar Mitzvah of my son, James, in August 2016, he was considering what he could do to mark the occasion in a meaningful way – one that … Read More

Day School students bring joy to EVERYONE this Chanukah!

The 6th grade class at The Solomon Schechter Day School in Marlboro, NJ chose ALEH as their chessed project this year. Their first act of kindness was purchasing Chanukah gifts for their friends and families from the ALEH Boutique. They also made THIS beautiful video to introduce themselves to their new friends at ALEH.   The sixth graders were so excited to … Read More


Jacob Steinberg of the UK was supposed to visit Israel during the summer of 2014 to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah with his “twin,” Chaim R. of ALEH Jerusalem. Unfortunately, his trip was canceled when the war broke out. This summer, Jacob finally got a chance to meet Chaim at ALEH Jerusalem. They connected immediately and really enjoyed spending the afternoon together.

<strong>Car Wash 4 ALEH Kids</strong>

Apr 29, 2012 Cleaning for Pesach took a fun twist when Adina Falk, a talented young lady from East Brunswick, NJ, brainstormed a Car Wash Campaign to benefit ALEH’s disabled children.Adina chose ALEH as her Bat Mitzvah project a year ago, when she composed and sold a beautiful song* and donated its proceeds to the children.This year, Adina’s teacher at … Read More

<strong>Sharing a Bat Mitzvah – and Beanie Babies!</strong>

Jun 18, 2013 Like any other girl, Rachel Eckman was excited about her upcoming Bat Mitzvah, and looked forward to the big day.  But Rachel and her family, who live in Chashmonaim, Israel, decided to look for a way to make the event even more meaningful and memorable.  They found their answer as soon as they saw Shira, a girl … Read More

<strong>Never Too Late Flint man, 80, twins his bar mitzvah with Israeli teen with special needs</strong>

Detroit Jewish News – May 15, 2013   Sixty-seven years after his 13th birthday, Larry Feinstein decided that it was finally time to have a bar mitzvah. It was an email from ALEH, Israel’s largest network of residential facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities, that inspired 80-year-old Feinstein to go through with the transformative Jewish ritual. The … Read More

<strong>The America-Israel Bat Mitzvah of Love</strong>

Apr 17, 2013 For Francine Lilien and her family and friends, her Bat Mitzvah will always be remembered as the Francine-Shira, America-Israel Bat Mitzvah of chessed and love. It was the Bat Mitzvah of a special set of twins – connected not biologically but through love and kindness and true Jewish commitment to help the weak and needy. Francine Lilien … Read More

Packages of Happiness! A Bat Mitzvah Brings Joy to the Residents of ALEH Negev

Dec 10, 2012 On December 9th 2012, Tehilla Jasper of Bet Shemesh, Israel and her family visited ALEH Negev to deliver special Chanukah packages to the facility’s residents. Tehilla had filled the packages with her friends as part of her Bat Mitzvah celebration a week before. Here’s a quick Q&A with the Bat Mitzvah girl about her very special “Mitzvah … Read More

Celebrating and Decorating!

Nov 21, 2012 Racheli Begun of Flushing, New York decided to give her friends a special treat at her Bat Mitzvah party…Racheli asked all her friends to roll up their sleeves, put on smocks, grab a paintbrush and paint and design personalized picture frames for each of the children in the ALEHJeursalem facility. Once the frames dried, Racheli had them … Read More

Pedaling to Success – One Bar Mitzvah Boy's Great Initiative

Nov 15, 2012 Liam Serota of Riverdale, NY recently strapped on his bike helmet and rode his own bike-a-thon for ALEH. Liam explained to us his fantastic project and how it made his Bar Mitzvah so meaningful. Dov: Hi Liam!  Firstly, thank you so much for choosing ALEH as your Bar Mitzvah project. How did you find out about ALEH? … Read More

Bar Mitzvah boy expands the ALEH Negev Safari Petting Zoo

Jun 28, 2012 Noah Krosnick from Deerfield, Illinois simply loves animals, so it was natural that he wanted to include animals in his tikun olam project in honor of his Bar Mitzvah. Noah’s father, Rick Krosnick, the JNF Chief Development Officer, suggested that Noah consider raising money for one of JNF’s Blueprint Negev Projects. Noah loved the idea and chose … Read More

Turning Spring Cleaning into Chesed

Jun 3, 2012 When Abigail (Abby) Stein of Livingston, New Jersey was getting ready for her Bat Mitzvah, she wanted to do something special to help others. With the input and encouragement of her parents Josh and Shira, Abigail decided to run a Garage Sale to benefit ALEH’s disabled children in Israel. She made a flyer (see below) and distributed … Read More