Community Service Opportunities

The Community service project is a vital part of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel and is required for all students. We ask that 18 hours be completed before your service but hope that the concept of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) will become a part of your family’s ongoing life. The list below is meant to be a guide as you begin this part of your B’nei Mitzvah preparation. You will find a list of suggested projects, and resources as well as ways to incorporate social action and community service into your celebration.

Please know that projects that appear in this brochure are only a few of the possible projects you might choose. The organizations listed are ones that students have worked with in the past. This list is not meant to be complete. And note that while This is the most updated contact information we have for the organizations listed, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of all the information as web sites and phone numbers do change over time Please feel free to investigate any other possible community service opportunities that will allow you to meet the requirements for B’nei Mitzvah.

We hope that this booklet will help you to find a project that will be equally helpful and generous as it will be fulfilling for you and your family to be involved with. 


Mentoring of Children
(Requires a full year commitment)

Bacharach Community (Interfaith Housing Assoc.) – Westport
Babysitting when mothers are in meetings, usually Thursday evenings
(203) 226-3426 or

Bridgeport Education Department – Bridgeport
(203) 576-7808

CLASP Homes – Westport
Home Visits
(203) 226-7895

Coleytown Elementary School Library – Westport
Homework Helpers from 2:30-3:30 pm
Contact Sara Spencer at (203) 341-1704 

Family & Children’s Agency – Norwalk
Create and run after-school clubs for kids
(203) 855-8765

Fox Run Elementary School – Norwalk
Contact Cindy Sila  or (203) 899-2860

George Washington Carver Community Center – Norwalk
(203) 838-4305

Jewish Center for Community Services – Bridgeport
Tutoring opportunities
(203) 372-6567

Junior League of Stamford/Norwalk, Inc. – Norwalk
Mentor 2nd and 3rd Graders, 10-week sessions
(203) 655-4662

Longfellow School – Bridgeport
(203) 576-8036

Norwalk After School Alliance – Norwalk
(203) 854-4117 or 
Eileen Yemma at

RESPECT – Westport Recreation Department – Westport
(203) 341-5090

Service Learning Club – Westport Middle School
Contact Karen Giunta at (203) 341-1498.

Side-by-Side Community School – Norwalk
(203) 857-0306

Charles D. Smith Jr. Foundation – Bridgeport
(203) 382-0052

Temple Israel Religious School
(203) 227-1656 or


Jewish Home for the Elderly – Fairfield
(203) 365-6400

Family Center Services – Westport
(203) 226-7007

Hollander House – Bridgeport or 
(203) 374-7868

Mediplex of Westport – Westport
(203) 221-4760

Westport Senior Citizen’s Center – Westport
(203) 226-8311

Wilton Meadows Health Care -Wilton
(203) 834-0199


Bread and Roses – Stamford
(203) 388-0189

Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Bridgeport
Help abused women.
(203) 334-6154

Jewish Family Services- Bridgeport
(203) 366-5438

Jewish Family Services- Westport
(203) 454-4992

United Way of Westport Weston, Inc.
(203) 227-1743

Illness Prevention/ Research and Awareness

Circle of Friends  or (203)293-8837

The Friendship Circle  or  (203) 329-0015

Jimmy Fund at Dana Farber Cancer Institute or (617) 632-3019

Leukemia Lymphoma Society or  (203) 379-0445

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 

Mediplex of Westport – Westport
(203) 221-4760

Relay for Life 

Spin Odyssey for Breast Cancer or or (203) 362-5231

St Lukes Lifeworks or  (203) 388-0100

Westport Senior Citizen’s Center
(203) 226-8311

Wilton Meadows Health Care
(203) 834-0199

The Arts

Music and Arts Center for Humanity or  (203) 366-3300 or 

Music Haven- Haven String Quartet  or (203) 215-4574

Westport Arts Center or (203) 222-7070, (203) 226-1806

Westport Country Playhouse or 
(203) 227-5137


Nature Center for Environmental Activities – Westport
Trail work and maintenance
(203) 227-7253

PAWS- Pet Animal Welfare Society or 
(203) 750-9572

PAWSAnimal Shelter in Norwalk
Sharon Howell at 
(203) 849-1111

Save Our Strays of Westport
(203) 255-0514

Save the Sound  or (203) 787-0646 

Wilton Conservation Agency
(203) 563-0180

World Wildlife Fund or  1800-CALL-WWF


Bridgeport Southern CT Storm Special Hockey Program  or (203) 966-9851 or 
Debbi McQuilkin at 

Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament in New Haven
(203) 776-7331

Polar Bear Plunge- Freezin for a Reason at Temple Israel or (203) 227-1293

The Special Olympics of CT or (203) 380-9990

Other Miscellaneous Opportunities

Americares Foundation, Inc. – Stamford
One Day Projects or 
(203) 658-9500

Bread and Roses – Stamford
Fundraising work
(203) 388-0184

Center for Hope – Darien
Fundraising Walks
(203) 655-4693

Evergreen Network – Fairfield
(203) 254-0511

CT Humane Society  or (203) 227-4137

Temple Israel Library
(203) 227-1293

Other Resources for Suggestions and Project Ideas 

Mitzvah Chic
By Gail Anthony Greenberg

Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Childs Bar or Bat Mitzvah
By Rabbi Jeffery K. Salkin

Putting God on the Guest List For Kids: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of YOUR Bar or Bat Mitzvah
By Rabbi Jeffery K. Salkin

Mitzvah Chic
By Gail Anthony Greenberg

The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects: Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference
By Barbara A. Lewis

The Kid’s Guide to Social Action
By Barbara A Lewis

Other Ideas

There are many other ways you can incorporate your community service project into your celebration:

For Centerpieces:
Books– An arrangement of kids books, audio tapes, videos and CD’s can then be given away to a deserving organization.
Food– An arrangement of canned and boxed food in a basket can be donated to a local food pantry.
Toys– You can make an attractive basket of toys and distribute them to a children’s charity.
Sports– Try collecting sports equipment and arranging centerpieces. This can be donated to a school or children’s organization.
Use your imagination! There are hundreds of ways to display items that you have collected which can then be donated to a charity organization.

Holocaust B’nei Mitzvah Project
Remember Us: Holocaust B’nei Mitzvah Project offers an opportunity for B’nai Mitzvah students to remember a child lost before the time of his/her call to the Torah.
For more information visit:

Ethiopian Jews
The North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program provides a terrific opportunity for Jewish Youth to get to know and help their Ethiopian– Israeli peers. By participating in the program, North American Jews provide Ethiopian students in Israel with books, school supplies school trips and more!
For more information visit:  

B’nei Mitzvah Collections at the School Wing

You may choose to do a collection in order to donate particular items to the charity you have chosen. The following rules explain how collections are done at Temple Israel.

1. Choose an organization

2. Check with Temple Israel Staff to be placed on the calendar. You may have a 2-week period for your collection.

3. Make a flyer that includes: organization information, your name and contact information, dates of collection
The flyer must be approved by Temple Israel staff. Following approval you will be responsible for making flyers, counting them out for each class and clipping them together. The office will place the flyers in each teacher’s mailbox to be distributed to each child in religious school.

4. Make a collection box. The collection box must be attractively decorated and placed at the school entrance. The box must be clearly marked to indicate what is being collected, the organization and the dates of the collection. The box must be emptied as needed and kept tidy for the duration of your 2-week collection period.