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Monday, August 22, 2011

Bar-Bat Mitzvah for Terror Orphans & Sick Children

HaKav HaMeached, which helps families who are terror victims, put on a Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebration for orphaned children.

A special Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebration was held this week for orphans who are victims of terrorism.

The celebration was made by possible by HaKav HaMeached, an organization whose mission is to assist families who are terror victims and children with rare disabilities, while attempting to provide solutions for the special needs of families who are not covered or recognized under the Law for the Compensation of Hate Crime Victims.

Hakav HaMeached operates by virtue of about 1,000 volunteers from all over Israel, who offer training, company, and physical and psychological support to the sick and their families.

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“There are seven girls and seven boys who are celebrating here,” explained Shimshon Delfkovitz, director of HaKav HaMeached. “We help hundreds of families all year long in a variety of activities. We start with the small things such as birthdays and parties on Jewish holidays and go on to larger things such as a four-day trip to Eilat twice a year, flights overseas, and once in a while we have a Bar and Mitzvah for kids who were born within the months of Sivan, Tammuz, and Av.”

The celebration this week took place during the three weeks – the period between the fast of the 17th day of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av – when celebrations are not traditionally held. Delfkovitz explained however, that his organization has a special halakhic permission to hold the celebration.

“The first halakhic permission is that all our Sephardic brothers are allowed to participate in the first place,” he said, adding: “The Ashkenazim have special permission from the rabbis. When we deal with sick children or orphans who are victims of terrorism and the celebration is more than just a real celebration but strengthens them and gives them the power to go on and deal with all of life’s problems, this is a big mitzvah.”

He explained that the main purpose of these special events is to help the children be happy and have fun while putting their worries aside for several hours.

“It’s during these events that the children put all their problems aside and have fun,” he said. “Each boy receives tefillin, tallit, a siddur, a Kiddush cup. Girls receive candlesticks or jewelry or make-up. In other words, we let them have a good time.”