Encorporate A Package From Home into your child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah


My son, Noah Rochman is working on a fundraising project at his Hebrew School for your organization. Our older son is a Lone Soldier, so this is something close to Noah's heart. Here is a photo of Noah making a presentation at his Hebrew School at Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, NJ. We are holding Penny Wars and they will be continuing for another 2 weeks. Classes compete against each other to bring in the most pennies. You can "attack" other classes by placing other coins or bills in their jars.

Leslie Rochman

Recycling for the Soldiers

Ryan Sjodin will become a Bar Mitzvah this June [2011] in Israel. His mitzvah project is to collect bottles and cans, recycle them, and get money for it. 100% of his profits will go to the Package from Home organization as a donation to all of the hardworking soldiers in Israel, he is looking to save up enough money to adopt a unit or buy supplies needed. As he says in his own words: "I am honored to be able to make this donation to your organization."

From Carrie Gordon:

"Shalom! As you will remember, I decided that I would like to work with A Package from Home as my mitzvah project. At my Bat Mitzvah on April 2, 2011, I talked about your organization in my D'vaar Torah, and I had a table with the sign explaining all about the great work you do, and had friends and family write Passover cards for the soldiers, which are enclosed. My family has also made a donation through the Good People Fund in honor of my bat mitzvah.I will be visiting Israel in August and hope to be able to meet with you and put together some packages.... I am so grateful for all of the soldiers who have fought so hard to protect the State of Israel."


by 13 year old Jonah - whose father was a lone soldier in the Israeli Air Force

The first mitzvah project I had was not going anywhere, I had all the parts, and knew what I needed to know, but it just wouldn't work. I was right; it failed, so I went on to find a new project.

At the time, I was thinking about the army, and how scary it must be to be a soldier in the IDF, so I went to the computer, and looked up non profit Israeli army on Google, and I found a charity called a package from home. I looked more into this place and found out that they make care packages filled with candies, clothes, healthy shampoos and soaps, and send them to Israeli soldiers, especially lone soldiers. Lone soldiers are soldiers whose parents live out of the country or who come from broken homes.

My goal is to raise enough money for a package from home to adopt an entire unit. This means that each soldier in the unit will receive care packages. I need to raise at least $1000.00 to do this. I knew I had to sell something substantial if I wanted to help do this. First I had the idea of selling Gilad Shalit dog tags, and then my mom suggested kippot. We found out about eco-suede kippot, and decided on using those instead.

Eco-suede is the eco-friendly vegan alternative to suede-leather kippot. They look like suede kippot, but are made of recycled cardboard. Why create more leather consumption, increasing demand for more animal skin? These kippot are also made in Israel, so not only are they green, but also blue and white!

Eco-suede is a polyester fiber made from recycled cardboard. The cardboard is first ground into flakes. Fiber is then created from the flakes and spun into yarns for weaving fabric. The suede so closely resembles true suede leather it can be hard for non-experts to tell the difference.

Contact Jonah if you'd like to join his project!


For Shai & Tamar Yastrab, who celebrated their joint Bar/Bat Mitzvah with a trip to Israel, one of the highlights was when the whole family came to pack with us.

Mom Sarah writes:
Thank you for an incredible experience this morning. The children think they were helpful to others; they don't yet realise how helpful you were to them!!
They collected items in the United States, and brought them to Israel, and helped, along with sister Nava, with packing this morning, July 15, 2009.


For other Bar or Bat Mitzvah stories and ideas, Click here

Each package we send has a letter written by adults and children from all over the world offering thanks and encouragement to the soldier's for protecting Israel.

Guests or friends of the Bar /Bat Mitzvah write letters to the soldiers. They should be positive and upbeat. The person writing the letter can include something about him/herself and if they have any connection to Israel such as a visit or a relative living here. You could have stationery printed with your name (or the Bar/Bat Mitzvah's name) and address on top for guests at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah to write a note to the soldiers.

It is important to include your name, address, and an email address if possible since we find that some of the time a soldier will take a moment to answer one of these letters. Letters can be written in English, Hebrew or Russian and can be mailed to Barbara Silverman. Your child's class, school, religious school, or synagogue can be included on this part of the project.

We are always happy to receive letters. The letters can then be mailed to:

A Package from Home
c/o Shira Gilor
49 HaYitzhar St.
Hashmonaim, 73127 Israel

The packages contain in addition to the letters, supplies that are collected/purchased/donated to us for the packages. Items most appreciated by the soldiers that you can collect: deodorant (no aerosol), men's short sleeve round necked T shirt, white, blue, black, khaki or brown, in size medium and large, boxer shorts, lip balm, toothbrush and travel size toothpaste, and individual kosher M&M's or Mike & Ikes. Due to security we can not accept any items by mail. If you know of someone who will be traveling to Israel and would be willing to bring along these items in their luggage, we would be happy to meet them in Jerusalem for pick up. Each traveler can put their collected items in their suitcase and bring them to the packing site or call us and we will arrange a pick up where ever they are staying. All items need to be sorted and put into zip loc bags to prevent leakage.

Most Bar/Bat Mitzvah youngsters include in their invitation to the Bar/Bar Mitzvah a note explaining why they have chosen A Package From Home as their first Mitzvah as an adult Jew. [For a sample invitation - click here!] You could do a fundraiser or Mitzvah project with the synagogue or school about your chesed project. We like to buy as many products in Jerusalem with the donations so we can help support the Israeli economy. Our project is completely funded by private donations. Under Adopt a Unit button you can read about different donation options for adopting a unit. Tax deductible American checks can be mailed to:

American Friends of AACI
c/o Charlotte Kroot, Inc.
21 East Chestnut Street - Suite 3C
Chicago, Illinois 60611 USA

Checks should be made payable to American Friends of AACI with a notation that it is recommended for A Package from Home Project in honor of your Bar/Bat Mitzvah

A Sample letter to use for an invitation

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been thinking about what could be my first positive mitzvah to do after I become a Bat/Bar Mitzvah. There were a lot of good ideas that I thought about. Then I remembered hearing how hard our Israeli soldiers are working to be sure that our beloved Israel is safe and so I decided to support a project called A Package from Home.

A Package from Home send care packages to soldiers without families in Israel (Chayelim Bodedim) and other combat soldiers. I found out from their web-site (www.apackagefromhome.org) that this summer they are sending packages with khaki or black t-shirts, socks, boxer shorts, bath towel, deodorant, foot powder and many different kinds of candies, snacks and toiletries, and a personal letter of encouragement and thanks. OR this winter they are sending packages with fleece jackets, fleece blankets, bath towels, warm gatkes (long underwear), wool hat and gloves, anti fungal socks, and many different kinds of candy, chocolate and snacks, toiletries and a letter of encouragement and thanks.

Volunteer groups pack the care packages and then each unit picks up their own packages and they are delivered directly to the soldiers within a few hours. This project has sent over 130,000 packages since the beginning of the Intifada that started over 8 years ago.

The money is raised from people all around the world who care about Israel and their soldiers. If you are thinking about a present for me, you can also think about the soldiers in Israel. Donations will be sent to A Package from Home. Checks can be made payable to the American Friends of AACI with a notation that it is recommended for A Package from Home Project. They can be mailed directly to: American Friends of AACI, c/o Charlotte Kroot, Inc., 21 East Chestnut Street - Suite 3C, Chicago, Illinois 60611 USA. [NOTE TO PARENTS: Some prefer to collect all the money themselves and then use it towards adopting a unit and mailing the donations all at one time.]

At my Bat/Bar Mitzvah there will be an opportunity to write letters of encouragement and thanks to the soldiers to be included in the packages.

I hope you can come to my Bat/Bar-Mitzvah, I think it will be really fun.