Melissa Goldfinger, a volunteer with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, has launched a new club for children in grades 4-7 called Many Mitzvah Makers – 3M for short.
The mission of 3M is to engage kids in the mitzvot of tzedakah, tikkun olam and chesed (charity, repairing the world and loving kindness) through “peer on peer” role modeling that will pull the focus away from themselves and direct their attention toward what they can do for others, Goldfinger explains.
The club will meet on the third Wednesday of each month at Tucson Hebrew Academy and plan four events throughout the year. The kids will be divided into four teams, with each sponsoring one event. There will also be a year-end Havdalah barbecue.
The goal is to have the club be as “kid-driven” as possible, says Goldfinger.
“My son, Sam, is a little giver and he always wants to tag along when I do something with JFSA. He’s been volunteering for PJ Library, and when he says, ‘Mom, you know that feeling you get inside when you volunteer?’ it warms my heart and I know there are other kids who would love that ‘volunteer feeling’ as well.”
Getting kids involved in Jewish philanthropy early makes sense, says Goldfinger, who’s been on the JFSA Women’s Philanthropy board for several years. “Why not hook them when they’re young rather than try to convince them when they’re older?”
Goldfinger, who will be the club’s adult leader, also plans to recruit rabbis and young community leaders to work with club members. Meeting dates for winter/spring 2015 are Feb. 18, March 18, April 15 and May 20. The club will meet from 4-5:30 p.m.