Newly Launched Australia Bat Mitzva Program Shows Tweens Local Poverty

May 26, 2015

Source: eJewish Philanthropy

A unique Jewish coming of age program for 11-12 year old girls, Twelve, has been launched this year in Melbourne, Australia, in response to a growing desire of many parents to show their tweens firsthand what poverty and disadvantage looks like in Australia. Over 50 families, or 100 participants, have signed up for the yearlong program to roll their sleeves up and get to work with their daughters to help people in need.


The Twelve Batmitzvah Program is now in its fifth month and is showing no signs of slowing down, with an equivalent barmitzvah version (“Thirteen”) launching in 2016 and a growing waiting list for 2016. The program provides girls and their parents with monthly hands on volunteering experiences, exposing them to different social issues in the Jewish and wider communities. The aim is for the group to experience firsthand the power of giving and kindness. Participating charities in the program include Royal Children’s Hospital, CBD homeless shelter Youth Projects, Jewish organisation C Care, child welfare organisation Alannah & Madeline Foundation and the Ardoch Youth Foundation, supporting disadvantaged children.


The group has undertaken varied activities including a garden working bee for a homeless women’s shelter, restocking an outreach bus for at risk youth, visiting residents at Jewish aged care home, making scarves and food for homeless youth, cooking and delivering meals to people in housing commission flats and packing backpacks for children entering emergency foster care. The sessions are interspersed with interactive workshops that engage and explore social issues and philanthropy.


Read more at eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: May. 27, 2015