Preparing for a B-Mitzvah may seem like an impossible task, but no need to worry – – our B-Mitzvah Family Guide provides invaluable details and information for your upcoming simcha!

In addition, we invite you to learn about:

What is a B-Mitzvah? A B-Mitzvah ceremony is an exciting time for families as children are called to the Torah for the first time. It is an important step in the transition to adulthood and acceptance of responsibility for one’s own actions — a public acknowledgement that a child has become a responsible adult member of the Jewish community. Beth El is an egalitarian congregation and participation is not dependent on gender. The term B-Mitzvah is an ungendered phrase so the ceremony is inclusive for all.

As a public acknowledgment, the B-Mitzvah ceremony takes place in the context of a regular worship service. During the course of that service, the B-Mitzvah is given the opportunity to demonstrate they have acquired the skills to lead the congregation in prayer and have become a responsible member of the Jewish community. The B-Mitzvah ceremony at Beth El is an event for the congregation, as well as for the family. The congregation looks forward to sharing the joy as our children become young adults.

B-Mitzvah Resources

Here are resources to help with different aspects of the B-Mitzvah service, including melodies for blessings and trope for reading Torah and Haftarah as well as ritual aspects of the service such as performing an Aliyah and lifting and dressing the Torah.



  • Blessing before the Torah Reading – MP3 / PDF
  • Blessing after the Torah Reading – MP3 / PDF


  • Blessing before the Haftarah Reading – MP3 / PDF
  • Blessing after the Haftarah Reading – MP3 / PDF



  • Torah Trope – Part 1 – MP3 / PDF
  • Torah Trope – Part 2 – MP3 / PDF
  • Torah Trope – Part 3 – MP3 / PDF
  • Torah Trope – Part 4 – MP3 / PDF
  • Torah Trope – Part 5 – MP3 / PDF
  • Torah Trope – Part 6 – MP3 / PDF


  • Haftarah Trope – Part 1 – MP3 / PDF
  • Haftarah Trope – Part 2 – MP3 / PDF
  • Haftarah Trope – Part 3 – MP3 / PDF
  • Haftarah Trope – Part 4 – MP3 / PDF
  • Haftarah Trope – Part 5 – MP3 / PDF
  • Haftarah Trope – Part 6 – MP3 / PDF

For additional help with the Torah and Haftarah blessings and trope, you can listen below to audio of the blessings and cantillations.

How to Perform an Aliyah 

What is an Aliyah? An Aliyah is an honor given to Jewish family members or congregants celebrating a type of milestone. The word Aliyah means “to ascend.” This refers to the literal ascension to the Torah, as it is read on a raised platform- bimah.

During an Aliyah, the honoree(s) recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading takes place.

Do I have to know Hebrew? The Aliyah blessings can be performed either in Hebrew or in transliteration, which is provided in a large, laminated document at the Torah Reading Table- Shulchan.

How do I practice? Click here to download an instructional PDF where you can read about performing an Aliyah. You can also watch the video below for an overview of how to perform an Aliyah.


How to Lift and Dress the Torah

Click here to watch the video.


Tallitot and Head Coverings

Click here for more information.

B-Mitzvah Tutors

At Beth El, B-Mitzvah tutoring is conducted by adult teachers under the direct supervision of the hazzan. Our tutoring program consistently produces excellent results in the service, as well as warm and lasting relationships between tutors, students, and families. For more information on our tutors or the tutoring program, please contact Hazzan Asa Fradkin at afradkin@bethelmc.org.

The hazzan assigns all B-Mitzvah students to a tutor approximately 15 months prior to their B-Mitzvah date. Families will receive a questionnaire via email which will allow them to indicate their preference for a particular tutor. Please do not arrange for any tutoring without first discussing it with the hazzan.

Tutoring usually begins 12-15 months before the B-Mitzvah date with the length of time dependent on the previous preparation of the student and anticipated interruptions for summer vacation or other commitments. Lessons are usually 30 to 45 minutes per week and continue until the time of the B-Mitzvah. Tutors are instructed to be in periodic contact with the hazzan and to keep him informed of progress or difficulties. Please note: Tutoring is not to take place during Religious School hours for students in the school or on Shabbat or other holy days. All financial arrangements are made between the family and the tutor. The amount of tutoring needed and the specific tutor’s rates are factors in determining the total tutoring cost, which is separate from the B-Mitzvah Administration Fee.

Your child’s tutor will be a significant partner for your child’s motivation and preparation. Please remember to invite the tutor to the B-Mitzvah service. Some families honor the tutor by inviting them to read Torah. A small gift or donation to Beth El or to some other Jewish cause in honor of the tutor is also appropriate.

The tutor will have all relevant materials for the student. They can also provide them with a photocopy of the verses that will be read from the Beth El Torah scroll. This will enable the student to see the  exact placement of words as they appear in the Sefer Torah from which we generally read. In addition, a large online library of helpful mp3’s is available online via SoundCloud, a website that hosts groups of recordings. The Beth El SoundCloud is accessible at https://soundcloud.com/beth-el-melodies/sets.  Included are recordings of Torah and Haftarah trope, as well as of the Torah Service and Blessings, Shacharit, Musaf, Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, and Ma’ariv services. All files are fully downloadable for your use. These files are highly recommended as study aids to students and family members wishing to deepen their understanding and comfort with services at Beth El.

Each tutor has their own method of teaching students trope – the musical notes used in the cantillation of the Haftarah and Torah reading. Because every tutor is given the responsibility of deciding on an appropriate schedule for their students, we cannot recommend a specific timetable for mastery of specific parts of the service. Instead, we urge families to check with tutors periodically to be sure their child is “on track.” While we know some children are highly motivated, it is our experience that others may need more encouragement and diligent monitoring from their parent(s)/guardian(s). Reminders to “practice, practice, practice” cannot be overstated. Of course, we understand there is a fine line between parental support and nagging; everyone is eager that this time in the child’s life be a positive experience. We can assure you that the students who practice routinely will recognize their own weekly progress and will gain the confidence that, in fact, makes preparation satisfying and successful. We strongly recommend that students be completely prepared well before the ceremony. This is, perhaps, the most effective way to avoid stress as the B-Mitzvah day approaches.

Approximately six months prior to the B-Mitzvah ceremony, families will be contacted to schedule a meeting with the hazzan. This meeting serves as a check-in with the student and to answer any questions. Students wishing to take on additional responsibilities in the service (such as leading the congregation in Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday evening) should prepare to discuss this with the hazzan at this meeting.

Four weeks before the B-Mitzvah date, the hazzan will meet with the student a second time to review their progress. Lessons with the tutor are to continue during these final weeks before the B-Mitzvah ceremony even though the student will also be meeting with the rabbi and the hazzan.

Be sure that the tutor makes arrangements with the synagogue office for the student to practice from the Sefer Torah approximately two to three weeks before the ceremony. This quiet time in the sanctuary when the B-Mitzvah can read from the Sefer Torah with only the tutor present is important for instilling confidence.

There will be a final rehearsal in the sanctuary, usually on the Wednesday afternoon prior to the B-Mitzvah (Tuesday afternoon in the chapel if your child has a Mincha/Maariv/Havdalah B-Mitzvah service). During the rehearsal, the rabbi and the hazzan will review details of the participation of the B-Mitzvah and members of the family in the service.

Rabbi David Abramson

Rabbi David L. Abramson has served congregations in Arizona, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. He has taught Judaic Studies, Bible and Rabbinics at Jewish day schools in Massachusetts and Minnesota; and, for many summers, taught Judaica at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Rabbi Abramson currently serves as Adjunct Rabbi at Congregation Beth El and teaches in our Religious School.

Judy Bisman

Judy Bisman is a veteran Jewish educator who has been teaching at Beth El since 2014. She has taught b-mitzvah students for over 25 years utilizing a variety of methods to meet different learning styles. The relationship between the b-mitzvah student, the family and tutor is essential to a good experience and Judy incorporates a personal touch with all her students.

Marilyn Fine

Marilyn Fine has been a Jewish educator for many years, and has taught hundreds of youngsters and adults at Beth El. No two B-Mitzvah candidates are alike, but Marilyn enlists her vast years of experience addressing the unique styles of hundreds of students, both typical learners and those with ADHD, IEPs, ASD, twice-exceptional, and/or auditory and visual processing challenges. Marilyn steadfastly supports her students, and her pride is palpable as she watches them stand proudly on the Bimah on their big day. She especially savors the success of those for whom the preparation did not come easily. Students and parents alike praise Marilyn for her “care, support, and love,” as well as her “gentle guidance” throughout the process.

Matthew Jacobson – not available until September 2024

Matthew Jacobson is in his fifth year teaching Middle School Social Studies at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Having grown up in Montgomery County (and at Beth El!), he knows how special the Jewish community is here, and loves being able to give back to it not only through teaching at the Day School, but also through leading davening regularly at Beth El, as well as having the opportunity to lead B-Mitzvah students through this amazing life cycle event!

Leo Janssen

Leo Janssen is an 8th grader at Alice Deal Middle School. He enjoys playing the violin, singing, drawing, researching interesting topics, and reading Torah. Leo is an engaged member of the Beth El community through singing in the Gesher Chorale, playing in the band at the Shir Yachad Friday night service, frequently reading Torah, and occasionally leading the repetition of Musaf.

Tali Moscowitz – not available until September 2024

Tali Moscowitz worked at Beth El for 17 years before becoming the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director at Moving Traditions. She has a BA in Elementary Education and a MS in Non Profit Management with a certificate in Jewish Communal Service. She has a passion for working with kids with disabilities and creating meaningful Jewish experiences for them. In her spare time, Tali can be found teaching, taking yoga classes, or seeing the latest Broadway musical.

Sheldon Novek

Sheldon Novek has been teaching Religious School and tutoring b-mitzvah students for over 30 years. He tremendously enjoys preparing the students for their b-mitzvah as it an exciting time in their and their family’s lives. Originally from Philadelphia, he is married with two grown sons, and enjoys film, theater, television, ice hockey, photography, traveling and always, always, good and unusual food!

Sarah Roark

Sarah Roark loves middle schoolers and has been teaching them forever.  Her favorite part of tutoring is being able to connect with students one on one and figure out how to best match their individual learning styles. She was born in Bethesda and grew up at Beth El, as did her own children.  She is also the Lower School librarian at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.

Betsy Roth

Betsy Roth has been a teacher (for the young and young at heart) at Beth El since 1993. Cantor Lubin was her teacher! He encouraged and mentored her to become a b-mitzvah tutor. It has been her most fulfilling passion since. Her greatest joy is to sit in the Sanctuary and see so many of her former students feeling comfortable and participating in any given Shabbat morning service! *Note that during the winter months, she only meets with students via Zoom. Otherwise, all tutoring sessions occur in her home in Potomac.*

Rabbi Alfredo Winter

Rabbi Alfredo Winter has over 40 years on the pulpit, having led congregations spanning the eastern United States including Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. He is fluent in English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Hebrew and has extensive tutorial experience in b-mitzvah preparation. Preparing students for their b-mitzvah has always been a truly rewarding endeavor for him and he works with each student to provide an enriching as well as meaningful experience.


B-Mitzvah Projects

We (Jews) are here to make a difference, to mend the fractures of the world, a day at a time, an act at a time, for as long as it takes to make it a place of justice and compassion where the lonely are not alone, the poor not without help; where the cry of the vulnerable is heeded and those who are wronged are heard.

— Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom

A Family Mitzvah Project is a fun way to engage your child and, potentially, your whole family in some of the most important values of Judaism – repairing the world (tikkun olam) and compassion for others (v’ahavta l’rayecha kamocha). For help developing your own Family Mitzvah Project, we have a resource bank which may be helpful in finding a project that calls to you.

Below you will find some organizations, sorted by category, that may help you and your child develop a Mitzvah Project.

A Wider Circle – The mission of A Wider Circle is simple; to end poverty for one individual and one family after another.

Bikes For The World – To make quality used bicycles and parts affordable and available to lower income people and select institutions in developing countries, to enhance their lives and livelihoods through better transport.

Books for America  Our mission begins with supporting educational programs which give children and adults the tools to acquire knowledge through reading. But that is only the beginning. A constant, high quality supply of books and other materials is needed to ensure continued interest in reading. To state the obvious, it is impossible to promote reading and learning if books are not available in the first place. Books for America was created to ensure that anyone who wants to read will have the tools to do so.

Bread for the City – The mission of Bread for the City is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect

Greater DC Diaper Bank – Greater DC Diaper Bank works to provide an adequate and reliable supply of diapers to babies, toddlers and their families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Diapers not only provide health and happiness to families and babies in need, but they are also a resource to the partners and organizations to which they are given. Having these diapers as a resource increases the services these organizations can provide.

Manna Food Center – Manna Food Center is the primary food resource for people in Montgomery County, Maryland who are experiencing hunger and food insecurity. Nearly every county nonprofit organization relies on Manna to provide essential food to their clients. Manna is that rare organization that achieves synergy by bringing together government, corporations, nonprofit organizations, schools, faith-based organizations, community groups, and individuals with the common cause of fighting hunger in Montgomery County.

Martha’s Table – Martha’s Table addresses emergency needs with food and clothing programs and work to assist children and families as they break the cycle of poverty through education and family support services.

Mercy Health Clinic – Our mission is to provide excellent medical care, medications, and health education to low-income uninsured residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. We provide hope for many people who are struggling to make ends meet in the face of the high cost of living, including those who are juggling several jobs or those who recently arrived in this country and aren’t on their feet yet. We help alleviate the burden of tough decisions between paying for rent and food, or for the health care one desperately needs.

One Warm Coat – One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that assists in the donation of coats. One Warm Coat helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute them free, to people in need.  The organization’s goal is to ensure that anyone who needs a coat has one. Providing this simple yet vital need helps people live productive lives year round.  Nearly 4 million coats have been collected and distributed through One Warm Coat activities since 1992.

Salvation Army Tree Program –  Last year, The Salvation Army provided holiday assistance to over 6,400 families in the National Capital Area. Over 14,000 children received toys, clothes, and other personalized holiday gifts that were purchased by our Angel Tree sponsors.  For many children, the gifts they receive through Angel Tree are the only ones they open on Christmas Day!

Shepherd’s Table –  Shepherd’s Table is a nonprofit organization in downtown Silver Spring, supported by volunteers, religious organizations, government, businesses, foundations, and individual donors. Our mission is to provide help to people who are homeless or in need by providing basic services, including meals, social services, medical support, clothing, and other assistance in an effective and compassionate manner.

Stepping Stones Shelter – Stepping Stones Shelter Inc. provides a continuum of services (emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, and post-shelter support) to homeless families with children in order to move them from crisis to a stable home environment. By offering food, shelter and supportive services in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Stepping Stones provides hope for the future, strengthens families, and promotes self-sufficiency.

Thrive DC – Thrive DC works to prevent and end homelessness in Washington, DC by providing vulnerable people with a wide range of services to help stabilize their lives.  We are a safety net for people experiencing homelessness, unemployment, housing instability, and food insecurity. With our help, our clients take the first steps toward independence and self-sufficiency.

YACHAD  – YACHAD’S mission is to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area. Yachad means “together” in Hebrew, and that is how we do our work through partnerships with homeowners, houses of worship, nonprofits, and other community stakeholders.

Americans for Ben-Gurion University – “The future of Israel will emerge from the Negev,” David Ben-Gurion predicted. Americans for Ben-Gurion University plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community, and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Watch this video to learn more about Americans for Ben-Gurion University. Contact Beth El member Keren Waranch to learn about b’nai mitzvah opportunities through Americans for Ben-Gurion University.

Friends Of The Israeli Defense Forces – Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors, under the leadership of John Klein z”l, to provide for education and wellbeing of the men and women who serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as well as the families of fallen soldiers.

Israel Tennis Center  As one of the largest social service organizations for children in Israel, the ITC serves over 20,00 Israeli children every year. The ITC has 14 centers throughout Israel, many of them in underprivileged neighborhoods, providing disadvantaged children with a safe, structured and nurturing environment. The ITC offers uniquely designed programs to assist youth at risk, those with special needs such as Down Syndrome and autism and children of new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia through our Social Impact programs.  It also brings together Israeli Jews, Arabs, Bedouins and Druze through our Coexistence program. All of these programs are open to all children living in Israel, regardless of background, religious affiliation or economic circumstance. No child is ever turned away.

ALS Association – The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

The Association For Frontotemporal Degeneration – Our mission is to improve the quality of life of people affected by FTD and drive research to a cure. We work every day to advance…RESEARCH: We promote and fund research toward diagnosis, treatment and a cure.  AWARENESS: We stimulate greater public awareness and understanding.  SUPPORT: We provide information and support to those directly impacted. EDUCATION: We promote and provide education for healthcare professionals. ADVOCACY: We advocate for research and appropriate, affordable services.

Children’s National Hospital Foundation – Children’s National Hospital is one of the premier institutions focusing on pediatric treatment, research, and education. Our efforts not only benefited the children we treat directly, but also create a base of knowledge and expertise that other healthcare providers rely on for their most serious cases.

For 3 Sisters – For 3 Sisters was started in 2011 by retired Montgomery County, Maryland career firefighter, Marshall Moneymaker, and his wife, Shannon Moneymaker after Marshall lost three older sisters to breast cancer. Overwhelmed with grief, Marshall started sharing his story and expressed an interest in doing more for the breast cancer community. In support and gratitude of Marshall’s awareness and outreach efforts, Marshall’s fire department shift mates surprised Marshall with pink firefighter gear. Friends and local media dubbed him “The Pink Fireman” and, in honor and memory of his three sisters, For 3 Sisters was born. For 3 Sisters’ mission is to raise awareness and improve the quality of life for men and women affected by breast cancer.

Hope Connections For Cancer Support – To help people with cancer and their loved ones deal with the emotional and physical impact of cancer through participation in professionally facilitated programs of emotional support, education, wellness and hope. We offer support groups for people with cancer and their caregivers; educational workshops with top oncology professionals; stress reduction and nutrition classes; and opportunities for people affected by cancer to connect with and support each other.

Hope For Henry – Improving the outcomes for Washington, DC’s sickest children, Hope for Henry Foundation (HFH) brings smiles, laughter, and joy to kids with cancer and other serious illnesses at Children’s National and MedStar Georgetown University Hospitals. Its year-round programming promotes comfort, care, and recovery for impacted children and their families.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. We are the voice for all blood cancer patients and we work to ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.

LUNGgevity –  LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease.

Make-A-Wish Foundation – Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes. We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.

National Brain Tumor Society: Race For Hope – Today, nearly 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor. And, many more will be diagnosed each year. Brain tumors are deadly, and can strike men, women, and children at any time.  All funds raised allow the National Brain Tumor Society to advance strategic research and public policy to improve the availability of new and better treatments, and fuel the discovery of a cure.

The National Pancreas Foundation – The National Pancreas Foundation provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer through funding cutting edge research, advocating for new and better therapies, and providing support and education for patients, caregivers, and health care professionals.

National Scleroderma Foundation – The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma and their families and friends. Our Three-Fold Mission is Support: To help patients and their families cope with scleroderma through mutual support programs, peer counseling, physician referrals and educational information.  Education: To promote public awareness and education through patient and health professional seminars, literature and publicity campaigns.  Research: To stimulate and support research to improve treatment and ultimately find the cause of and cure for scleroderma and related diseases.

NIH Children’s Inn –  The Children’s Inn will fully and consistently meet the needs of children and families participating in groundbreaking research at the National Institutes of Health. We will: Respond to evolving family support needs from pediatric research and clinical care. Provide a free family-centered “place like home.” And reduce the burden of illness through therapeutic, educational and recreational programming.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and government advocacy. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fills the void of information and options by giving patients and caregivers reliable, personalized information they need to make informed decisions.

Pediatric Unit At Shady Grove Hospital – The pediatric unit is experiencing a surge in children requiring admission to the hospital and many of them are so sick that they are unable to visit the hospital’s playroom. In those cases, the children are given a toy to keep them occupied in their room during their stay. They range in age from two days to 18 years old. The most commonly requested items are art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, beads, etc.), Legos or Duplos, Little People toys, play cars for toddlers, dolls, Pop Its, Uno cards, and board games. For more information, contact Shira Rosenbaum, Assistant Nurse Manager, at srosenbaum@adventisthealthcare.com or 240-826-6480.

Ulman Foundation – The Ulman Foundation supports and recognizes each individual as a whole before, during and beyond their diagnosis. We envision a world where no young adult faces cancer alone. We change lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer.

Best Buddies – Best Buddies International organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Best Buddies is a volunteer-based organization. There are many ways for you to volunteer.

Friendship Circle – Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization affiliated with Chabad-Lubavitch of the Maryland and DC region. Our goal is to provide every individual with special needs the support, friendship, and inclusion that they deserve by providing social, educational and Jewish programming. We engage children and teens through a wide range of experiences; provide parents and families of children and teens with much needed respite and support; enrich, inspire and motivate teenagers through sharing of themselves with others and creating a sense of responsibility and connection to the Jewish community through educational and social opportunities.

Ivymount –  The Ivymount Organization is a nonprofit organization that provides trusted educational, therapeutic, and professional services and products that invest in the abilities of neurodivergent children and young adults. Our programs include: Ivymount School, The Maddux School, Ivymount Endeavors Outreach, Community Outreach & Services, and Professional Collaborative.

JUST TRYAN IT – JUST TRYAN IT seeks to positively impact the lives of families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer by providing them with financial assistance. Funds raised by JUST TRYAN IT offer financial assistance for these indirect costs so that families can focus on the most important fight — their child beating cancer. With the generosity, support, and commitment of our donors and sponsors, parents are made to feel that they are still able to provide for their children at a time when they feel particularly helpless.

KEEN – KEEN Greater DC is a nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. KEEN’s mission is to foster the self-esteem, confidence, skills and talents of its athletes through non-competitive activities, allowing young people facing even the most significant challenges to meet their individual goals.

City Dance –  ReachDC is at the heart of CityDance’s vision for a thriving DC arts community, where every child, regardless of socio-economic status, has access to the benefits of an arts education and where world- class dance is available to all.

DC SCORES – DC SCORES builds teams through after school programs for 1,500 low-income DC youth at 44 schools by instilling self-expression, physical fitness, and a sense of community. DC SCORES accomplishes this in an innovative model combining poetry, soccer, and service-learning year-round.

Hungry For Music – At Hungry for Music, our most important service is putting musical instruments into hungry hands. We serve children who demonstrate a desire to learn music, as well as teachers who have students willing to learn. Music has the ability to heal; it soothes tension and can transform sadness and aggression into hope and creativity.

Leveling The Playing Field – Leveling the Playing Field gives underprivileged children the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of athletic involvement. Studies show that students who participate in athletics have higher grade point averages, attendance rates, standardized test scores, educational aspirations and healthier habits.

National Center For Children And Families It is the mission of the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) to create total, healthy living environments for vulnerable children, youth and families in the Washington DC Metro area.

Playtime Project – The mission of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project is to nurture healthy child development and reduce the effects of trauma among children living in temporary housing programs in Washington D.C. We seek to create a city that provide every opportunity for children in homeless families to succeed by ensuring consistent opportunities to play and learn, offering support services for families, and advocating for affordable housing and safe shelter.

School The World – School the World is a community driven nonprofit committed to solving extreme poverty through the power of education. We transform lives by making quality education accessible to children living in rural villages of the world’s poorest countries. We believe education is vital to alleviating poverty, increasing gender equality and promoting economic sustainability.

Charles E. Smith Life Communities – The mission of Charles E. Smith Life Communities is to deliver quality care and meaningful life experiences to older adults, with dignity and compassion rooted in Jewish values.

Holocaust Survivor Community Fund – In partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, JSSA has created a joint community fund solely dedicated to supporting safety net services for this unique and deserving population. Funds from the UJEF Holocaust Survivors’ Community Fund will ensure that appropriate service levels are maintained for as long as needed.

Humane Rescue AllianceAt the Humane Rescue Alliance, we honor more than 150 years of commitment to protecting animals, supporting families, and advocating for positive change to create a world where all animals can thrive. HRA serves a a national leader and local champion for all animals.

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation – We are a non-profit animal rescue organization saving the lives of thousands of homeless and abandoned pets each year. We rescue dogs and cats facing euthanasia in overcrowded shelters, and place them for adoption in loving homes.

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue –  Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is a volunteer run animal rescue that saves homeless and abandoned dogs and cats from certain euthanasia.  With no boarding facility or shelter of their own, Lucky Dog holds events across the District, Maryland and Virginia.  Lucky Dog seeks not only to place dogs in loving homes, but also to educate dog owners about responsible pet ownership.

Maryland Horse Rescue –Maryland Horse Rescue is a certified 501 (c)(3) nonprofit horse rescue and rehabilitation facility located in Mount Airy, Maryland. We DO NOT sell horses, but facilitate the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of those animals in our care. We do have some blind residents, but strive to adopt out as many animals as possible to loving homes. We are 100% volunteer run and operate solely on donations. We specialize in the care of seniors and blind horses.

Montgomery County Humane Society – The Montgomery County Humane Society is the pre-eminent animal welfare organization in Montgomery County, helping animals find safety, love, quality care, loving homes, and a new chance at a happy life. As a private, no-kill rescue we offer a range of services designed to help people adopt new pets and then keep them in their homes and out of shelters. We provide adoption and post-adoption assistance, humane education for all ages, and outreach programs that help pet owners take better care of their pets and build a more humane, animal-friendly community.

Warrior Canine Connection – Warrior Canine Connection utilizes Canine Connection Therapy to help warriors recovering from the stress of combat reconnect with their families, communities and life. By interacting with the dogs as they move from puppyhood to training to adult service dogs, Warrior Trainers benefit from a physiological and psychological animal-human connection. As a result of their efforts, Veterans with disabilities receive the finest in trained service dogs.

MAKOM – Formerly the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, MAKOM supports and empowers people to achieve the quality of life to which they aspire. The organization is committed to providing individuals with developmental disabilities and/or chronic mental disorders with the opportunity to live independently within the community with dignity, personal choice, and respect while offering the opportunity to experience Jewish life.

HIASThe Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. For more than 130 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. We protect the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom. We advocate for the protection of refugees and assure that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve. Guided by our Jewish values and history, we bring more than 130 years of expertise to our work with refugees.

Kids SpotUnder the direction of Sheppard Pratt, Kids Spot is the children’s waiting room at the Montgomery County Circuit Court.  Children between the ages of 2 and 12 are welcome, as long as their parent or guardian is in the Circuit Court Building. There is no fee for this service. Trained staff and volunteers, who are sensitive to the needs of children and families, engage kids in play and art projects.

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children – Established in 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children.

Reel Thing Films – Founded in 2000 by Suzan Beraza, the goal of Reel Thing is to produce thought provoking films that challenge viewers to examine their choices and be aware of their impact on the rest of the world. We are a small and dedicated team based in Telluride, Colorado. We seek projects that inspire people to action and fresh conversations. Social and environmental issues pervade our work.

Tzedek B’nai Mitzvah Fellowship – An important component of your teen’s journey to “Jewish adulthood” is a mitzvah project to connect their emerging Jewish identity to Judaism’s call to serve others. The EDCJCC’s b’nai mitzvah fellowship facilitates that process in a fun, engaging, and stress-free way! Through this fellowship, teens will engage in hands-on volunteering at sites around the DC area, learn about systems of inequality and avenues for advocacy, and build friendships with their cohort. They will finish the fellowship with a greater understanding of equity issues in our community, Jewish teachings around service and social justice, and how they can use their own personal strengths and passions to engage in change-making beyond their b-mitzvahs.

Click here to discover even more Mitzvah Project ideas.