Monday, November 10, 2008
change the truth trip: meet linda and sarah
My daughter Sarah and I are looking forward to our trip in December with Change the Truth in honor of her Bat Mitzvah. After watching the video of our neighbor Carol Joseph's trip to Uganda, Sarah was interested in helping the kids at the orphanage.
One way she will help will be experiential - helping with arts and crafts, painting that needs to be done, perhaps assisting in the garden - maybe she can even teach a lesson. I am excited about joining her on the trip. Since I previously took a volunteer travel trip with Save the Children building homes in Honduras with my oldest daughter, Kayla, when she reached the age of a Bat Mitzvah, I have officially made it a custom to have a "mother daughter" bonding trip associated with this coming of age celebration. I hope that I will be privileged to have a similar experience with my son Adin when his time comes.
While I expect the trip to be inspiring and a great learning opportunity for the two of us, Sarah will also have a first hand eye witness view of one of the organizations that she has chosen to benefit with donating a portion of the gifts from her Bat Mitzvah. She has decided to help the orphanage purchase instruments for a marching band. Having the instruments will allow the orphanage to rent the instruments to neighboring schools providing a steady source of revenue. Two years ago, her sister dedicated her Bat Mitzvah funds to a cancer center for kids in Israel.
What makes Sarah's contribution to Change the Truth - both financial and perhaps more importantly, volunteering at the orphanage - particularly meaningful is that it reflects the values that are most important to the Jewish faith - the values of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). Her school curriculum at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School stresses these lessons as much as it does science and math.
One of the great Jewish thinkers, Maimonides, describes various levels of giving charity, and at the top of the ladder is the gift of "self reliance.” We are hoping that by purchasing the musical instruments for the orphanage that it will be able to realize an annual source of revenue and assist in its efforts to realize a measure of self-reliance.
Perhaps, I should also add that after reading Gloria’s blogs on breast cancer that at the time I took my trip with Kayla I was closing in on my first anniversary of being diagnosed. After I return from the trip with Sarah, I will be closing in on a third anniversary. The good news for all the curve balls you get thrown is that you do not put off for one day sharing these types of lessons and experiences with your kids.
My husband Ed and I are pretty proud of her, and if we had to use one tag phrase or song for her it would be "Conviction of the Heart" - she has it in spades!