JWV gladly supports young people as part of our efforts to promote Jewish-American values, give back to our communities, and support veterans. To further those goals, our national office partners with Jewish teenagers and adults who are seeking to do a mitzvah as part of their Bar and Bat Mitzvah projects.

JWV primarily focuses on two kinds of projects which positively affect the lives of active duty service members and veterans:

  1. Help us to Support Our Soldiers by improving their daily lives while they are serving our country far from home.
    • Write letters, collect food, and gather leisure materials for our troops!
  2. Collecting military testimonies and memorabilia so their service is always remembered.
    • Work with veterans to document their histories orally.
    • Assist them in writing a memoir or an account of a memorable event.

If you are interested in doing your Bar or Bat Mitzvah project with JWV, please contact Programs Assistant Ben Kane at bkane@jwv.org or at 202-265-6280.

Matthew and Jeremy Rosen of Great Neck, New York celebrated their B’nei Mitzvah on November 11, 2017, at their synagogue, the Young Israel of Great Neck. When they discovered during the summer that this was the date on which Veterans Day falls out, it was a simple decision to direct their Bar Mitzvah Chesed Project effort towards benefitting the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America. This was especially true considering that both of their grandfathers served in the military, and their first cousin Sam is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

As part of this project, Matthew and Jeremy opted to raise funds specifically for the JWV’s S.O.S. – “Support Our Soldiers” – program. Through this program, JWV sends packages, generally of toiletries and kosher food items, to those who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places of conflict throughout the globe.  Their famous phrase, “Send a salami to a boy in the army,” is one example of how a taste of home has been important throughout history to those who leave their homes in order to defend them. The S.O.S program lets those who are currently serving know that we on the home front are thinking of them.

Two weeks before their B’nei Mitzvah, Matthew and Jeremy and a group of their friends went ‘Bowling for Veterans’, and they also ran a Facebook campaign, and they’re proud to have raised over $730 for Jewish War Veterans. As part of their bar mitzvah speech, they announced this accomplishment to their entire congregation, and they also left JWV brochures and membership forms for those who were interested to take with them. Many congregants, especially those who had family members who served in the military, took the forms and mentioned what a wonderful chesed project this was.

It was indeed a really meaningful project for them, as they got to do a very special mitzvah, and they had fun doing it! And the timing couldn’t have been better, because special Chanukah care packages will soon be delivered in their names to many Jewish soldiers in a variety of locations, which will surely put a smile on their faces during the holiday season.

Thank you, Matthew and Jeremy!