THIS year’s Ethiopian Bar Mitzvah and Bat Chayil Group, organised through Leeds UJIA Women’s division, is well on its way to doubling its fundraising target of £1,200 with the figure currently touching £2,000.
“We are the greatest club in the regions achieving the highest total so far for 2018, and it is also the largest-ever running total from a Leeds club,” said adult adviser Alexa Harris.
The young girls recently formed a small committee to organise a pop-up afternoon tea and, on Monday, managed to raise more than £700. The youngsters decided on a number of stalls and provided all the saleable produce themselves.
At the event, held at the home of Miranda and Richard Tobias, guests of honour were David and Nadine Serr, with openers Suzanne and Barry Hirst.
The young committee is comprised of Isobel Gothelf, Ruby Sandler, Talia Guiness, Leah Harris, Teah Foreman, Rachel Foreman, Dalia Serr and Natasha Harris.
Dalia and Teah described to the gathering what the group did in the UK, explaining that the idea of the course was to raise money for young Ethiopian Jews who are about to celebrate their bar and batmitzvot.
The girls said they now understood the difficulties the young Ethiopians face by moving to a different country, learning a new language and living in modern-day Israel.
“Even though they have the same religion as we have and live very different lives, this has given us the opportunity to twin with them and share our bat chayil and bar and batmitzvah experiences with Ethiopian children of the same age,” Dalia said.
A favourite part of the whole experience for Dalia and Teah was learning about other people’s cultures and how they live, and discovering numerous facts.
The girls added that they were looking forward to visiting Israel to meet their friends and to be part of their celebrations, as well as witnessing first-hand where the money raised will be going and how this will eventually benefit their counterparts.