Bar and Bat Mitzvah Projects

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation and the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza welcome Bar/Bat Mitzvah students to complete their mitzvah projects with us.

Even in the current pandemic we are available to discuss projects within current public health guidelines.

 

Located at the head of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the site of the nation’s oldest Holocaust memorial, the Memorial Plaza serves as a “museum without walls”, featuring a variety of educational installations describing the horrors of the Holocaust as well as the importance of speaking out against bigotry and anti-Semitism. The Foundation is responsible for maintaining and managing programming for the Memorial Plaza, ensuring that the Memorial Plaza remains a safe and attractive space for remembrance and reflection for generations to come.

Our mitzvah project opportunity consists of a 12-14 hour volunteering commitment, in which students become young ambassadors for Holocaust education and remembrance by organizing a school tour of the Memorial Plaza. Students will learn about the Holocaust and the importance of becoming stand-up citizens, while gaining organizational and communications skills. Foundation staff will guide students through the following steps:

  1. Meeting with Foundation staff and touring the Memorial Plaza. Foundation staff will offer a tour of the Memorial Plaza for the student and their family, using the IWalk educational tour guide app. Then, the student and their family will work with Foundation staff to begin planning the school group visit.
  2. Coordinating a class tour of the Memorial Plaza. With the help of Foundation staff, the student will organize a tour of the Memorial Plaza for one of their school classes, Hebrew school class, or other school clubs. Foundation staff will help to coordinate transportation and trip details at every step of the way, and will provide materials describing how to talk about the mitzvah project with school teachers and administrators, as well as other students.
  3. Hosting and documenting the Memorial Plaza tour. Together with the student, Foundation staff will co-lead a tour of the Memorial Plaza for the student group. The student will be responsible for taking pictures and/or video to document their experience.
  4. Presenting on their Bar/Bat Mitzvah project. As part of their bar/bat mitzvah, the student will describe their experience with the Memorial Plaza to the rest of their synagogue congregation.
  5. Working with their family to raise funds for the Memorial Plaza. Families participating in the mitzvah project are encouraged to raise funds for the upkeep and programming of the Memorial Plaza. There is no minimum or maximum amount of funds raised, but we suggest setting goals in increments of $18, or offering a “family match” in which a family member matches the amount raised by the student.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah students seeking to complement their existing projects with components of the project outlined above are welcome to contact the Foundation. Staff are always available for support. We are excited to work with you, and look forward to getting to know you and your family.

Please get in touch with Eszter Kutas, Executive Director, to discuss your family’s mitzvah project at (215) 809-2474 or at ekutas@philaholocaustmemorial.org.