Tikkun Olam Projects
On Saturday May 10th Sean Glassman will be called to the Torah as our newest Bar Mitzvah. Sean is in the 7th grade at Dr. John Long Middle school. He is also an active Boy Scout in Troop 149. For Sean’s Tikkun Olam project he is raising money for the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind to help build a Showdown table. Showdown is a game for the visually impaired that is similar in some ways to air hockey. It is one of the games sanctioned by the IBSA (International Blind Sports Federation). The Tampa Lighthouse is an organization that helps to train people who have recently lost part or all of their vision. For more information on the game of showdown: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM5-jKdsVr4 and for Tampa lighthouse for the blind: www.tampalighthouse.org.
On Saturday May 17th Bradley Jasper will be called to the Torah as our newest Bar Mitzvah. Bradley is in the 7th grade at Rushe Middle School in Pasco County. He is in the National Junior Honor Society, holds a 1st Degree Black Belt in Krav Maga, and plays football at Rushe. For his Tikkun Olam project Bradley is holding several Gift of Life recruiting drives. Gift of Life is a bone marrow registry with a goal of matching donors to those in life saving need of a bone marrow transplant. He will hold a drive on the morning of his Bar Mitzvah. All you need do is have your cheek swabbed to see if you can save someone’s life. In its nearly 20 year history, Gift of Life has found almost 11,000 matches. You can be next. For more info go to www.giftoflife.org.
On Saturday May 24th Alexandra Takagishi will be called to the Torah as our newest Bat Mitzvah. In her own words: I am a seventh grader at Davidsen Middle School. I am an avid cheerleader and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. I play oboe in the school band and ran track. I also volunteer at my former elementary school, Westchase Elementary, assisting teachers with classroom needs. I am the daughter of Curtis and Jennifer Takagishi, and have one sister, Sabrina, a fifth grader.
For my Tikkun Olam project, I spent the summer making 55 friendship bracelets. I brought these, along with beads, to Tampa General Hospital’s Children’s Medical Center and distributed them to children in the hospital. Any extras were left for other children to enjoy. I also plan to participate in the Relay for Life to raise money for breast cancer research, which takes place May 17-18 at Alonso High School.
On Saturday May 31st Matthew Kraus will be called to the Torah as our newest Bar Mitzvah. Matthew is a 7th grade student at Benito Middle School. He is an honor student, plays the bass clarinet in the school band and has a passion for baseball. He is the 3rd baseman on his Baseball Travel Team. For his Tikkun Olam project, Matthew chose to volunteer at the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home. He helps the patients play Bingo. While this doesn’t sound like much, remember that these patients are mostly incapacitated. After Bingo, Matthew will escort those in wheel chairs where they would like to go. In the beginning, most of the patients would not really talk to Matthew but after a while they started greeting him like an old friend. He has found that volunteering is a very rewarding experience and plans on continuing after his Bar Mitzvah.
On Saturday June 7th Logan Sutter will be called to the Torah as our newest Bar Mitzvah. For Logan, it was easy to choose his Tikkun Olam project. He took two things that inspire him: baseball and helping others and found the perfect fit in Buddy Baseball. Logan spent the Spring Season as a Buddy to William. He helped William hit home runs, field the ball, and cheer on his peers. It was a very rewarding experience and he looks forward to volunteering with this organization again in the future and maintaining a relationship with his player.