Bar Mitzvah Boy shares simcha with 150 Zichron Menachem children

06/08/19Bar Mitzvah Boy shares simcha with 150 Zichron Menachem children

GIFT’s Founding Director, Michelle Barnett celebrated her son, Yoni’s Bar Mitzva last week in true GIFT style, inviting 150 children from Zichron Menachem, the cancer charity, to celebrate with them. Michelle Barnett has spent the last 15 years educating and encouraging people to give and share with those around them, and her children are no exception. Each one of Michelle and her husband Danny’s children have celebrated their Bnei Mitzvah’s with a chesed or social action element and Yoni was no different.


Yoni, who has grown up having his kitchen as the first GIFT warehouse, watched as volunteers came to his house daily for food and bread packing, sharing birthday presents with children less fortunate and his siblings Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations in Zichron Menachem’s Centre in Jerusalem and in Neve Michael Children’s Home in Pardes Chana.


After learning that Zichron Menachem were bringing 150 children with cancer over from Israel for a week’s respite, Yoni decided to twin his Bar Mitzvah with the wonderful organisation, enabling all the Zichron Menachem children and their 150 madrichim and medical staff to participate and enjoy the celebrations.


Over the past 6 months GIFT have been running specific hands-on lunch ‘n’ do sessions in schools and various GIFT Bat Mitzvah sessions in London and Manchester, making gifts to give to the Zichron Menachem children. These presents included stuffed build-a bears, personalised fans and union jack themed juggling balls – all of which the children were delighted to receive.  They had a fantastic time at the Bar Mitzvah, jumping on bouncy castles, wearing balloon crowns, being adorned with glitter tattoos, watching magic shows and joining in with the dancing.  


Guests were also privileged to watch the incredible musical duo Yishai Lapidot and Avi Dror perform, having flown in with Zichron Menachem to entertain the children throughout their visit.


Eli Seliger, UK Director of Zichron Menachem said: “Looking at the faces of the children, we could see the excitement, the joy they were experiencing. Yoni choosing to celebrate his bar mitzvah with Zichron Menachem shows his true colours of sharing and being kind to others.”


Michelle Barnett, GIFT’s Founding Director said: “It was extremely humbling and moving dancing with the children, especially those on crutches or in wheelchairs and having the children enhance our Simcha. Our son Yoni was delighted to be the first Bar Mitzvah in his year and to share it with so many deserving children from Zichron Menachem, will hopefully set a precedent to encourage others to inculcate an element of chesed into their special day too.”


Bar Mitzvah Boy, Yoni said: “It was great sharing my Bar Mitzvah with the Zichron Menachem kids, it was very special and we all had the most amazing time.”


GIFT have a range of ideas to include the ‘giving’ element into your special day – contact to find out more.  

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"Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more "
H Jackson Brown Jr.