A Bat mitzvah is a special time in the life of Jewish girls. Increasingly, the girls – encouraged by their family – learn about different aspects of Judaism and gain insights into social responsibility, which is a cornerstone of Jewish observance and tradition.

Hadassah Australia found an opportunity to connect Bat mitzvah girls in Melbourne with children at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Shelley Kline, Social Media Manager at Hadassah Australia, made contact with ‘Twelve’, a unique hands-on, volunteering program in Melbourne for Bat mitzvah girls and their parents, where they agree to complete a year of kindness. (www.facebook.com/twelvebatmi)

“It was a perfect match for Hadassah to join with Twelve for a special afternoon. They didn’t have an Israeli organization included in their program and we wanted to reach out to a group of Bat-mitzvah girls in Australia who were keen to make a difference to the lives of sick children in Israel who are around their age,” said Shelley.

“We want kids at Hadassah to feel that someone at the other end of the world is thinking about them and cares about their situation. For the local girls, it was an opportunity to connect their Bat mitzvah lessons with a hands-on activity that would benefit hospitalized children.”

Around 25 girls from Twelve were each accompanied by a parent who worked with them on decorating an art pack and creating a scrap book, both of which will be hand delivered to Hadassah Hospital by Ron Finkel, President of Hadassah Australia next month.

Hebrew-speaking volunteers from Twelve also participated in the project to ensure that the Hadassah patients can relate to the finished products.

“On the day, we wanted to introduce Hadassah’s Medical Clown Program, so in line with this theme, the art packs consisted of clowns to color in, dot to dot and educational activities that included words associated with happiness,” Shelley said.

These packs will be distributed to patients who attend the school at Hadassah Hospital, while the scrap books will rotate around Hadassah’s pediatric departments at Ein Kerem and Mt Scopus.

The creative pages within the scrap book will give the patients some pleasure as they flip through the pages and see a collection of photos of the girls and gain some insight into their lives.

Moran Dvir, from Twelve, said “Our session with Hadassah was engaging and interactive. The girls and their parents produced a beautiful, colorful scrapbook about their lives in Australia that we hope will spread some cheer and good wishes to children at Hadassah Hospital.”

Something else that the patients will enjoy is a video that was taken during the event that includes footage of the girls at work and some get well messages. See below)

“We hope that the girls and their parents enjoyed the afternoon and gained some understanding of what a difference the clowns make to a patient’s day, providing a dose of laughter and creating happiness, calm and distraction for the sick children,” said Shelley.

Raising funds for this wonderful program is the latest initiative of Hadassah Australia. All donations to this program are tax deductible through the Hadassah Australia Foundation. For further information go to http://www.hadassahaustralia.org/medical-clowns-program.