Nicholas Shaerf had his Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York today. For those of you unfamiliar, a Bar Mitzvah is a ritual that Jewish boys go through when they turn 13. They are called to read from the Torah, recite special blessings, and are welcomed as a full member of the Jewish Community. For his speech, Nicholas chose to talk about how important NEW YORK SAYS THANK YOU is in his life and how it made him appreciate the importance of community, whether being a member of the Jewish community, the New York community, the American community, or the global family. This 13 year old young man related with such eloquence and poise how helping to build a 4H Barn in Greensburg, Kansas helped him to realize his place in the world and how important it is to reach out beyond our immediate community to help bring about healing and show others in the world that we care.
I have never cried so much during a Bar Mitzvah speech as I did today listening to Nicholas.
To know that an organization we started over 5 years ago was now providing meaning to a young man like Nicholas, and that he chose to relate his experience of volunteering with us as a core lesson connected to the essence of his Bar Mitzvah, was simply indescribable. As a founder of the organization, it was truly one of those “wow” moments. I could never describe in words how proud we are to have Nicholas and his family as part of our organization. And I could never describe in words how proud we are to have Nicholas Shaerf as New York Says Thank You’s “first Bar Mitzvah.” MAZEL TOV!