B’nai mitzvah build playgrounds for poor


American bar and bat mitzvah gift money has gone toward building
playgrounds in an underprivileged Israeli community. Over the past month, 11
playgrounds have been built in Kiryat Shemona using money donated by
American Jews who recently underwent bar and bat mitzvahs and funneled their cash presents to a fund run by the Jewish Agency for Israel,
Yediot Achronot reported Sunday.

“There are young people in the United
States who already have everything,” the Jewish Agency’s Jeff Kay told the daily. “These young people want to donate to a
unique cause, and for the most part we choose projects that girls and boys
can connect to.”

Shemona, a town on the northern border, suffered heavy
shelling during last year’s war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group. The town’s mayor, Danny Kadosh, said the young American donors often fly
in to unveil the playground they helped build.

“The kids see their
contribution on the ground, and it makes them happy and excited,” Kadosh said.

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