Keeping the ‘mitzvah’ in bat mitzvah: LM girl raises food for Philabundance
Alexandra Hutner Hummel of Wynnewood joined family and friends to celebrate becoming a bat mitzvah at Beth David Reform Temple on March 31. Most people have a pretty fixed image of what a bar or bat mitzvah will be like. There is a service at which the b’nai mitzvah – the kid turning 13 and assuming responsibility for his or her actions – reads from the Torah. Then there is a celebration, typically a fancy party at the temple or a hotel or restaurant with a DJ. 13-year-old Alexandra, instead, prompted her guests with the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, repairing the world. She asked her guests to help her create a vegetable garden, which she will cultivate over the next few weeks. She hopes to help plant close to 2,000 seedlings in a local church garden. Once the vegetables are ripe, they will be donated to Philabundance through its Share the Harvest Program to help feed people in need in the community. Guests attended the service and celebration in jeans and sweatpants, ready to get dirty. Typically, guests expect to hear words of praise for the b’nai mitzvah’s studying, but no one expects to be put to work in an unfinished old-house basement rolling newspapers into planting pots, or to be handed power tools and asked to saw planks into planting tables, or gardening gloves and trowels to mix dirt. But guests happily contributed and did their part in tikkun olam.
Through the help of her family and guests, Alexandra will be able to donate a significant amount of produce to Share the Harvest to help those in need. Share the Harvest encourages home gardeners to grow fruits and vegetables or collect any surplus produce from their harvest and donate to Philabundance to fight hunger in the Delaware Valley. High food and gas prices are making it more difficult of people with limited incomes to feed their families and typically produce is the first thing cut from the list when things get tight. Learn more about Philabundance and Share the Harvest at www.philabundance.org.