At Beth Emet, we celebrate the simcha by sharing a bit about our recent b'nei mitzvah students with the entire congregation as a welcome to the "adult" community. Let us wish "mazel tov" to the following:
son of Julie Henson
I have always had unbounded curiosity and the urge to learn new things about most aspects of our complicated world. Going to Anshe Emet (a Jewish school), I have been given the opportunity to experience many different aspects of our Jewish culture, including things from Israeli dancing to eating a delicious Shabbat lunch every Friday. Jewish history and tradition interest me, and I hope to study even more about it as I become a Bar Mitzvah and as I turn into a Jewish adult.
In school, I enjoy delving into newly discovered areas of science, finding new equations and strategies in math, attaining new historical knowledge about humanity’s past, and expressing my creativity through writing. Outside of school, I like to participate in many sports. Though soccer is my specialty, I also enjoy most other games. When I am not playing, I spend time expanding my learning that started in school and exploring more about those areas on YouTube and other places online.
As I continue on my journey through life, I hope to keep learning about my culture and other areas that interest me.
Ellie (Eleanor) Bollinger
Daughter of Aviva Bollinger and Steve Bollinger
Ellie is a 7th grader at Nichols Middle School. Her favorite subjects include anything that allows her to use her creativity and imagination or lets her be active! She plays the violin in the school symphony orchestra and has been on the school's volleyball team for the last two years. Outside of school, Ellie is a competitive swimmer and proud member of MYST - the McGaw YMCA Swim Team. And when she's not in school or practicing for her Bat Mitzvah, you can generally find her in their pool lapping and laughing her way to the front of the pack.
Ellie is passionate about environmental issues and protecting native pollinating species, particularly the Bumble Bee population. Her Mitzvah Project - reflecting Tikkun Olam and the ability to repair our earth to it's greatest ability - involved learning ways to create nontoxic and sustainable gardens to attract and maintain healthy pollinators, writing letters to the EPA to encourage them to make and enforce laws against the use of poisonous pesticides, and to show our community how easy it is to do the same.
When Ellie stood on the Bimah and read from the Torah for the first time, she saw how all of the hard work has been worth it. She could finally sense the accomplishments and growth she's made and felt very "grown up". That pride will stay with her for a long time.
Jack Herschel Kaplan
son of Elizabeth Feiertag and Seth Kaplan
I'm a seventh grader at Haven Middle School. My family have been members of Beth Emet for a long time...my grandfather, dad, uncle and sister all had bar or bat mitzvahs at Beth Emet. I love all sports, and play soccer for FC United, FAAM, and EYBA Travel Baseball. In honor of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, I am raising money and collecting canned goods for the Greater Chicagoland Food Depository. I think it's very sad that there are people without enough to eat. If you would like to donate in honor of my bar mitzvah, I have a web page set up at: https://www.myfooddrive.org/drive.php?jacks_mitzvah_food_drive Thank you.