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On the 8th Night of Chanukah: BBYO Revisits Giving

BBYO is a pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. As part of its Teen PR Program, student Jessica Baar writes about giving tzedakah, forgetting all about it and then becoming inspired to give again:

As my younger brother and I would hastily got out of our mini van to run into our Synagogue for Hebrew school, my mother would stop us. Already arriving ten minutes late, she would purposely stop and hand us two quarters each. This was the Tzedakah we were supposed to give our teachers for that week. This was our ritual every Sunday morning from about first to sixth grade. But as my brother and I got older and time went on, the fifty cents would be forgotten some weeks.

Well some weeks turned into some months, and then it stopped altogether. To be truthful, I didn’t really care that I had ceased handing in that money. That is until a couple of months ago when eleventh grade me realized just how important it was.

Currently I’m member of BBYO. At the beginning of this year one of our officers who is in charge of Judaism and Community service started pushing for members to bring spare change to meetings. She would stress that even one penny found on the sidewalk on the way to the meeting would still help. That reminded me of my younger Hebrew School days. Sure I still forget from time to time, but now I’m trying to make a conscious effort to bring even a few coins to meetings. I know that money isn’t the only form of Tzedakah, there’s also volunteering of time and donation of items. But for me, this tradition brings me back to my roots. Now as my mom, in the same old mini van, drops me off at my local JCC for a meeting and I run out of the car, I ask her to give me my fifty cents for that week.

Did you ever ask your parents for money to give for tzedakah? Did you ever give your children or other family members money for tzedakah? For more stories about giving check out our Get Inspired page!

Photo courtesy of idovermani.

Jessica Baar

Jessica Baar is currently an 11th grade student who resides in the eastern Pennsylvania area. She has actively and passionately been involved in BBYO, Inc. since 2009 where she currently holds a chapter officer position.

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