Hi! It’s Alex here with the next installment of my Mitzvah Project Profiles blog. In honor of the upcoming Tu B’Shevat holiday, I’ve decided to blog about Kinneret Katz, a teen whose mitzvah project demonstrates a commitment to protecting the environment.
Kinneret knew that the water levels in Israel’s Lake Kinneret are dangerously low. A recent report by Israel National News explained that the lake’s water level had dropped below the red line (meaning water should no longer be drawn from the lake) and was inching towards the black line (meaning it would soon be dangerous to pump water from the lake). For her mitzvah project, Kinneret decided to raise money to build aqueducts so that Lake Kinneret could collect and maintain more water.
Here’s what Kinneret had to say about her project:
“For my bat mitzvah project, I raised money for Lake Kinneret, Israel, through JNF (Jewish National Fund). All the money I collected—over $2,000—went to building aqueducts, so that Lake Kinneret may be preserved. I made tiny tzedakah boxes that I put around town. The boxes were covered with sayings, pictures, stickers, information on why the money was needed, and where the money was going. Around $450 was raised this way. In addition, I gave a speech about the Kinneret to my classmates, asking them to donate. Most of them are Israeli, so when their parents heard what I was doing, they gave me money. When my bat mitzvah got closer, I sent fundraising letters to everyone I invited to the actual event. I’m still getting replies from distant relatives! I probably collected around $1,000 from my relatives. At my bat mitzvah, I had a really nicely decorated tzedakah box, and I mentioned it and my project in my speech. The last $500 was collected in bits and pieces.”
What advice does Kinneret have for successfully accomplishing your mitzvah goals? “You can’t just think of a good idea [for a mitzvah project] to do a great job; you’ve got to do a great job!”
Kinneret’s story spoke to me personally because I love the environment and Israel, too. When I went to Israel in May 2011, I connected deeply with both my religion and the beautiful land. Since then, I’ve been taking more steps to protect the environment. You can visit my eco project’s website to see what I’m doing to help the environment.
Stay tuned for more inspiring mitzvah project profiles to come!