On the last day of Chanukah, ADI Jerusalem hosted a beautiful Twinning Bat Mitzvah celebration for Eliana Wizenfeld from Springfield, NJ, and ADI resident Rivky Schwartz – a remarkable rite of passage ceremony for a truly dynamic duo. Eliana, who volunteers with the disability community in the Tri-State Area during the summer months, decided to take her Bat Mitzvah to the next level by sharing her special day with her “Bat Mitzvah Twin” and raising money to provide Rivky with the music and art therapy sessions she needs to enhance her daily life and reach her greatest potential.
To kick off the festivities, Eliana, her amazing parents, Rachayl and Howie Wizenfeld, and assorted family members and friends were welcomed to ADI Jerusalem’s residential floor, where they met Rivky, her mother and some of Rivky’s siblings for the very first time. After the Wizenfeld and Schwartz families traded blessings, members of ADI’s special education staff taught Eliana and Rivky about the mitzvah of ‘hafrashat challah’ (separating a small portion of dough before baking a batch bread), and invited their mothers and all of Rivky’s friends to partake in the mitzvah together with them – their first mitzvah as Jewish adults.
As the loaves of challah bread were placed into the oven, the celebration continued with an arts and crafts project – decorating picture frames – and each member of the Wizenfeld family worked with a different ADI resident to make sure that they were included in this fun and creative activity.
After several rounds of spirited dancing led by ADI’s National Service volunteers, ADI’s North American Director of Development Elie Klein presented Eliana with a beautiful plaque and gifts from the ADI family, lauding Eliana for choosing to mark her transition into Jewish adulthood in such a meaningful way, and for raising $7,000 from family and friends to empower Rivky through art and music.
“We gave Eliana the choice of having a Bat Mitzvah party in our community or going to Israel and arranging a Twinning Bat Mitzvah with an ADI resident, and she jumped at the chance to help a new friend in Israel,” explained Eliana’s mother, Rachayl. “We are so proud of Eliana for making this decision and so grateful to now be a part of Rivky’s life.”
We are so impressed with Eliana and so grateful to the entire Wizenfeld family for their dedication to Rivky and ADI.
MAZAL TOV, Eliana! You’re a superstar!