Charlotte, a very caring and generous young woman, recognizes how fortunate she is in life and wanted to use her bat mitzvah as an opportunity to give back. Charlotte loves to cook, and every Sunday morning in what has come to be known as “Charlotte’s Kitchen,” she wakes up early to prepare waffles for her family.
Her family also travels to Israel every summer and they love the food, culture, and people they have met on their trips.
Together with UJA-Federation of New York’s Give a Mitzvah-Do a Mitzvah program, Charlotte decided to give back to a place she admires and to bring something that gives her joy to the children at the Neve Michael Emergency Crisis Center.
Newly renovated kitchen (Photo: Avi Dodi)
The center serves and provides refuge for 250 children from all over Israel who have suffered abuse of all kinds. Since 2000, more than 650 children have benefited from the kitchen in the Emergency Crisis Center.
Two volunteers come to cook and bake with the children at Neve Michael on a regular basis. This cooking therapy focuses on socializing, learning to cook together, learning about food, and learning about the health benefits that food provides.
The natural wear and tear in the kitchen that has taken place over the last 13 years is visible. Charlotte’s gift will provide a clean and updated space where these children can undergo therapy through cooking and baking, which will bring them great joy. The money will be used to purchase two industrial dishwashers, an oven, an industrial refrigerator, and a freezer.
Strengthening ties between Jews in NY, Israel
Charlotte’s parents, Jonathan and Caroline Sack, and her siblings, Rebecca, 9, Beatrice, 2, and Elizabeth, 14, traveled to Israel to visit the center and meet the children who will be helped by Charlotte’s generosity.
Elizabeth also participated in the Give a Mitzvah–Do a Mitzvah program two years ago at the time of her bat mitzvah, and had a handicapped-equipped sailboat built, which was used by Israel’s Paralympics team in the 2012 Olympics in London.
Caroline and her family at ceremony (Photo: Avi Dodi)
"While thinking about how I wanted to contribute my bat mitzvah gift to benefit those who are less fortunate than I am, I thought about my Sunday morning tradition. I learned about children who are growing up in a very different environment than I am and I knew I wanted to help," said Charlotte.
"Since I love cooking, I thought it would be great to give other children the opportunity to cook with nice equipment and learn a new skill that I enjoy so much."
"UJA-Federation of New York’s Give a Mitzvah–Do a Mitzvah program allows bar and bat mitzvah aged students to take their first step into the world of philanthropy as they begin their young adult journey in the Jewish community. We work individually with each participant to tailor a project based on their passions, hobbies, and interests," said Brittany Wayne of UJA-Federation of New York.
"Charlotte’s project relates to her interests and her generosity will greatly benefit the children at Neve Michael. Her project is a great example of becoming involved in philanthropy at a young age and helps to strengthen the relationship between the Jewish community in New York and in Israel."
A special dedication ceremony took place recently at the Crisis Center in Neve Michael. Charlotte Sack and her family joined the kids there to officially open the new kitchen. Speakers at the ceremony included Ilan Halperin, representative of UJA-Federation of New York in Israel.