San Diego (Carmel Valley, CA) Bat Mitzvah Girl Is Right on
Project Benefits our Girls
Interview with Inside Our Home Editor Chava Yelloz
12 years old, and already she’s a practical thinker and an independent hard
worker. Tamara Benrey, who’s a 7th grader at the San Diego Jewish
Academy, researched online for a recipient for her right of passage mitzvah project. Wanting to help her peers, she searched for an Israeli organization
that helps kids, and found the Lev LaLev Fund. Now, it was time for Tamara to
dream up a product that is useful for everyday life, which she could sell for
May 26th, the Benrey family celebrated Tamara’s Bat Mitzvah
at San Diego California’s Beth Am Congregation. Nadin Benrey, Tamara’s mom,
told Lev LaLev that Rabbi David Kornberg, the synagogue’s spiritual leader,
directs the boys and girls who will become bar and bat mitzvah to participate
in a meaningful project to commemorate their special day.
possibilities for a product to sell whose proceeds would be donated to the
Children’s Home in honor of her Bat Mitzvah, Tamara brainstormed with a creative
friend. Their joint thinking produced a bright and colorful idea: a
bookmark made of giant paper clips adorned with large buttons. Now she was set
to start production.
began her initiative by first creating a flyer
that she used to market her bookmarks to friends, family and schoolmates. She
actually produced the items on her own and collected the funds which she would
present directly at the Children’s Home to our Programs Director, Bracha Runes
during her recent trip to Israel.
Israel in honor of her Bat Mitzvah was a very special treat for Tamara and her
family. Her parents, Nadin and Alberto, originally from Mexico
City, where Tamara and her siblings were born, are involved in their community.
Since emigrating from Mexico 12 years ago, Nadin serves as a board member of
the San Diego Jewish Academy and was on the board of directors of the United
Jewish Fund. Alberto shared a seat on the Academy’s board as well and is
involved as a staunch supporter of the school.
She’s an avid soccer player whose
position is FORWARD. She is a teammate of the La Jolla based Nomads who
practice twice a week at their local Noble Park.
Math and Judaic Studies are her
“Although my bat mitzvah is over, I’d
like to continue donating to the girls at the Home.” As she left the Children’s
Home in Netanya, she said to her mother,
“It’s amazing to be here and see these girls go through their life
struggles, and I am here to help them.”
and her older sister Nurit, 17 who also attends the S.D. Jewish
Academy (high school division), both
utilized their Hebrew skills learned at the Academy, talking to and bonding with our
precious girls. Nadin Benrey told us that Nurit, who is totally fluent in
Ivrit, had a life changing experience because of her visit to the Home. She
shared that her middle daughter, who is thinking about colleges to apply to,
didn’t have a serious focus for her future studies yet. But, as she left the
Home, she told her mother she now realizes what it is she would like to do some
day. Nurit Benrey now aspires to dedicate her career to helping kids. She hopes
to apply herself to studying psychology.
older brother, Rafael, 20, who
attends Babson College in Boston, and could not travel to Israel with his
family because of his school schedule, sums it all up by saying, “I think Tamara's effort to donate money to
such a good cause is very representative of how much she cares for the world
and people around her. She is truly someone to look up to.”
Benrey’s extended family, Fanny, Alberto’s mother, Doris, his sister, and their
niece Anna, also accompanied them on their visit to Netanya.
girls at the Home very much enjoyed hosting their esteemed visitors from
Southern California and appreciate and acknowledge Tamara’s generosity and warm
spirit. Making and selling bookmarks to help support the needs of
the girls at the Home – place Tamara right on the mark of her
responsibility as a young Jewish woman – thinking of those less fortunate and
in need. Kol HaKavod to this very