Bar mitzvah donates gifts for Israel park


NEW YORK (JTA) — A 13-year-old from New York donated $40,000 to build a park in southern Israel.

Benjamin Sternklar Davis decided to give the money he received for his bar mitzvah to the town of Sderot, which has been bombarded by Kassam rockets launched from Gaza, in order to create a recreational facility for local residents, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Tuesday.

"I felt bad during the war for the children of Sderot who had to go to school and come back with the constant thought they could be hit by a Kassam rocket at any given second," Benjamin said.

Sderot residents and officials participated at a reception Tuesday in the area honoring the young philanthropist’s bar mitzvah, an occasion that according to Jewish tradition marks the age at which boys reach adulthood.

David Buskila, the mayor of Sderot, thanked Benjamin and gave him a decorated prayer shawl as a token of appreciation for his donation.

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