By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – David Allexenberg has been working tirelessly on a “Mitzvah Project” in preparation for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah which will take place at the end of September at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Westborough. While this is a huge milestone in many Jewish children’s lives, for David, this has been especially meaningful. He has decided to forego gifts and has asked friends and family to contribute donations to a foundation called “Water for South Sudan.”
David lives in Northborough with his parents Abbe and Mike, brother, Daniel, and dog, Rocky. It was actually his brother who inspired him on his Mitzvah Project, he noted.
“Daniel also did a Mitzah Project and instead of getting gifts and money, he requested sports equipment that was donated to those in need,” David said. “This got me thinking that I also wanted to do something for others.”
He explained that his sixth-grade teacher assigned the book “A Long Walk to Water.”
“It talked about the ‘Water Crisis’ as a global issue and how many of us take for granted that we can simply go to the sink and turn the faucet for both hot and cold running water,” he said. “Many people in these remote villages in South Sudan spent hours just going to and from a water source that is not even clean. I knew I just had to help.”
The Water for South Sudan Foundation is where David chose to put his efforts. The foundation enables people from all over the world to teach people in south Sudan how to build wells to bring fresh water to the villages. He first set a goal to raise $250. That was reached very quickly. He then set out to double it, which he has also exceeded. To date, he has raised over $1,000. Each time a donation is made on one of the links, David and his family receive a notification and David immediately sends a thank you.
“David’s project has taken on a new life,” noted his mother, Abbe Allexenberg. “After we got the word out to friends and family, we posted it as ‘David’s Mitzvah Project’ with a statement from him. Rabbi Michael Swarttz heard of it and suggested we post it in the Beth Tikvah newsletter. We posted it there as well as Facebook.”
David said he is so glad that so many people have chosen to support this project and he feels really proud of what he is accomplishing.
“I am so inspired by David and his commitment to this project,” his mother said. “I am amazed how quickly the word has spread.”
“David’s Mitzvah project embodies the essence of what becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah means to reach the age of responsibility, to fulfill the commandments, or Mitzvot, of Jewish tradition,” Rabbi Swarttz said. “Many of the Mitzvot are intended to make our world a better place by improving the lives of others, particularly the most vulnerable and needy among us.
“Water for South Sudan does exactly that and David’s support of and encouraging others to support this organization demonstrates his awareness of what it means to do Mitzvot and to become a Bar Mitzvah,” he added.
To learn more visit David’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/donate/888280434880099/10157561535819391/.