Current Mitzvah Projects
We are extremely grateful to the following individuals and organizations who raise funds to help those with disabilities in Israel participate in physical and psychological rehabilitation through sports. We thank you in advance for your support!
Please click on a box below to view information and make a donation for a specific Mitzvah Project.
On October 22, 2021, 5th and 6th-grade students at The Ramaz School participated in a “Hoops for Chesed” free throw competition. As the students will all soon become Bar/Bat mitzvah, this activity was a way to have them begin thinking about accepting the responsibility of mitzvot and playing a bigger role in their Jewish communities and the world at large.
The day before Hoops for Chesed, the 5th and 6th graders had a Zoom meeting with Asael Shabo from the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled (ISCD). Asael shared the story of how he lost his leg and how ISCD helped him find hope and joy in sports again. Now Asael is an international wheelchair basketball star and plays on the Israel National Wheelchair Basketball Team. He also coaches swimming at ISCD. Ramaz students enjoyed interacting with Asael and asked great questions about what it’s like being an athlete with physical challenges.
Ramaz students are inviting family and friends to be their sponsors and donate money for every free throw they made in their Hoops for Chesed competition. Their goal is to raise at least $3,600 to purchase a sports wheelchair for ISCD so children with disabilities in Israel will have more opportunities to play sports, just like the students at Ramaz!
Thank you in advance for supporting this chesed opportunity.
5th and 6th Grade Classes of 2021-2022
The Ramaz School
New York, NY
Ava Zamler & Zoe Greenfield
Hi. Our names are Ava Zamler and Zoe Greenfield. We are in 7th grade and have our Bat Mitzvahs in early 2022. We both love to play sports including dance, basketball, tennis, swimming, field hockey, and volleyball. We recognize the importance of helping others and wanted to combine our interests for our mitzvah project. We have decided to raise money for the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled (ISCD), an organization that allows kids with all types of disabilities or injuries from illness, terrorist attacks, birth defects, or other circumstances to come together to play all kinds of sports, and rehabilitates themselves both mentally and physically. Being active in sports has been such an important part of our lives and we are grateful to have so many opportunities. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not have the same opportunities as us or the necessary equipment to do so.
When I (Zoe) visited Israel in 2019, my family had the opportunity to attend a tour of the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled – I was SO impressed! I had the best time playing with a professional wheelchair basketball player and found it very challenging. It gave me a better perspective of how hard it would be to be in a wheelchair.
I (Ava) have not visited the Center but I look forward to going this December when my family and I go to Israel. Over the years, meeting people from the Center has made me so excited to help, and hope that everyone will help us too! Knowing that the ISCD helps bring kids together is so important to me because being on various teams has helped me learn how to be a better person.
The Center is not just about sports, it is about helping people with special needs rebuild their lives. It gives them something to be excited about and helps with their rehabilitation. This organization is truly amazing and it would mean a lot to us if you could please make a donation and support our mitzvah project.
My name is Josh Salama-Caro and I live in New York with my parents, my two younger brothers, and my younger sister. I am studying for my upcoming bar mitzvah in February 2022.
I have a passion for sports and of course I enjoy winning but I also love the thrill of competing. I play football (soccer) and tennis competitively and I play golf regularly with my dad and brothers. Sport is such a huge part of my life so when it came to my bar mitzvah project I wanted to try to incorporate sport into it. In doing research, my synagogue suggested I contact the American Friends of Israel Sport Center for the Disabled (ISCD).
The first time I saw disabled athletes competing was at the 2012 Paralympics in London, where I am from. Even though I was only 3 years old I can remember being impressed by the athletes playing basketball in their wheelchairs. In the more recent 2020 Paralympics I was enthralled by the wheelchair rugby I watched on TV and last week at the US Open Tennis I was able to watch some wheelchair tennis. I am so excited to be able to help more disabled athletes be able to participate in sports and I hope they will be able to feel the way I do when I am playing sports, both with friends and competitively. I have gained a lot of confidence from sport and I really hope to be able to help some athletes at the Centre feel the same.
I am looking forward to going to Israel to visit the Centre in Ramat Gan and I hope to be able to go next year. I am planning a 5km sponsored walk in Central Park in October for my family and friends. I have a fundraising goal of $8,000 to be able to buy at least one specialized wheelchair; this will change the lives of many athletes as the ISCD’s competitive tennis team has an immediate need for specialized wheelchairs. The tennis team at the Centre this year qualified for the World Team Cup which is the equivalent of the Davis Cup, an international flagship event.
Thank you so much for all of your support,
Dear Family and Friends,
For my mitzvah project, through UJA’s Give a Mitzvah – Do a Mitzvah program, I have set a goal to raise $3,600 for the benefit of the sports programs provided to disabled youth and adults at the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.
Sports have been a very important part of my life. Some of my favorite memories are playing sports with my friends, my dad, and my cousins. I love playing basketball, lacrosse, and tennis. I have been playing basketball since I was 7! Sports have given me the chance to make lifelong friends and to learn life skills such as leadership. They have also taught me the value of hard work, teamwork, grit, and of course some fun. They have given me an outlet to focus my energy outside of school. I can’t imagine my life without sports!
When I first heard about the work that the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled does, I knew immediately I wanted to help. The people who go to the Center have challenging lives due to their disabilities, which they have been born with or developed later in life because of an accident or terrorism. I would like to help give the opportunity to the children and adults at the Center to enjoy all of the positive things that sports have to offer: friendship, life lessons, inner strength, and just the ability to do something fun that they love! The money I raise will go toward the Wheelchair Basketball program at the Center and to purchase a brand new sports wheelchair for wheelchair basketball games.
Thank you for all your support!
PS: One hundred percent of your donation will go toward supporting my project. Thanks again!
As a Bar Mitzvah, I am excited to support the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled. A few months ago when I started looking for a project, I knew I wanted to help youth through sports but wasn’t sure how and where. I wanted to be able to go and volunteer in person, but now in corona times it’s not really possible. After looking at organizations both in Israel and California, we found the ISCD, whose mission is “empowering children and youth with physical disabilities from all backgrounds to participate in physical and psychological rehabilitation through sports in order to attain the goal of leading productive and successful lives in Israeli society.”
I was excited to register to participate in the ISCD 60th Anniversary “Brunch and Basketball” celebration on Nov 22 (the day after my Bar Mitzvah), with 2020 NBA draft pick from Israel, Deni Avdija & professional wheelchair basketball player Asael Shabo.
I plan to donate a portion of my gifts to the American Friends of ISCD, as well as half of my earnings from training younger kids in basketball. You’re all invited to join the brunch – it’s free to register at Go60Brunch.org – and donations are welcome here too! When we can finally travel to Israel, we plan to visit the Center in Ramat Gan and hope to be able to volunteer there one day to help disabled youth with basketball.
My name is Liana Schwab and I am 11 years old (almost 12). My Bat Mitzvah is in January 2021 with a ceremony in Israel following. I want to raise money for the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled because I participate as a buddy for people who have disabilities in their classrooms and on the basketball court and I want to help others. I enjoy playing basketball and biking and I want everyone to be able to do the things they enjoy. I also wanted to do something for Israel because Israel is important to me and I am excited to visit the center, meet people, and see what they do there.
A wise Chinese Proverb argues that, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
10 years ago, we looked for charity for Aaron’s bar mitzvah chesed project. Aaron was an avid tennis player and we hoped to find an organization which would resonate with him. We were fortunate to get connected with the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled (ISCD). We continue to support the ISCD to this day. We find the organization essential to the growth of so many children and adults. The center serves a broad community of roughly 2000 families. It offers programs which nurture both the physical as well as emotional development of its participants.
On March 15th, the ISCD was forced to temporarily close its doors due to the pandemic. Over the past few days, with strict new protocols, small parts of the Center have begun to reopen. The Center derives 40% of the revenue needed for operations from fees. With the reduced services and added expenses, the Center is counting on support and generosity from friends.
So, in celebration of my milestone birthday, I hope you can join me in making a donation to the ISCD. $18 covers the cost of my “go to” drink….( multiple “rounds” are welcomed).
And in honor of my milestone birthday, all donations will be matched DOLLAR for DOLLAR! So please help me help the ISCD!
Andrew Schwartz & Noah Cohen
We are Andrew and Noah and for our Bar Mitzvah project we are raising $5000 to purchase a sport wheelchair so kids with disabilities can play basketball at the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.
My name is Harrison Steinberg and I will be celebrating my Bar Mitzvah in Pennsylvania on May 2, 2020. A part of becoming a Bar Mitzvah at my synagogue is to choose a mitzvah project that is meaningful for me. I chose to learn about and support the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled (ISCD) as my Mitzvah Project mostly because I love sports – playing sports, watching sports and talking about sports. Sports are a really positive part of my life. The ISCD is an incredible organization that provides sports rehabilitation to thousands of children and youth with physical disabilities, many of whom were victims of terrorist attacks, as well as professional training for disabled athletes in basketball, swimming, tennis, and rugby. There are athletes at the center who have been rehabilitated, trained and now compete in the world Paralympic Games representing Israel.
On my family trip to Israel in December, we visited the ISCD. I was impressed by the facility and excited to meet and hear the stories of athletes and coaches. The ISCD has truly changed their lives and I am motivated to help support them in any way possible.
One of their greatest needs is to provide customized wheelchairs for their athletes. Each wheelchair costs between $3,000 – $5,000, because it is customized for the athlete’s specific disability and sport. My goal is to raise enough money to buy at least one new wheelchair for an athlete at the center. I hope you’ll choose to support me and the center’s important work.
RAEL AND MIRA GLUSMAN
Our family has always talked about the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.
Ever since we were little, we had a chance to hang out with the Israeli athletes when they came to Atlanta. We have had the chance to spend time with some great people from the ISCD. Moshe Rashkes, the founding director, who introduced the ISCD to our family and opened up his heart and home to our mom when she worked at the ISCD. Boaz, the current director, who our mom knew when they were teenagers and is really nice. Kobi, the Chairman, who is always so kind to us. Reuven, their coach, who is always giving us kisses on the forehead. Most importantly, we have had the chance to spend time with some of the amazing athletes from the center such as Caroline, Asael, Max, Amit and many more. We love hearing their stories and how they have succeeded in their lives so far. They are all great athletes and have inspired us.
A few years ago, the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled had an event in Atlanta. Our family co-chaired this event and we were able to attend. They did a wheelchair basketball event. The athletes did an exhibition and showed us some of their amazing tricks including a half-court shot. They made it look easy! After the exhibition, they had wheelchair basketball stations where we could physically try to play wheelchair basketball. It was a lot harder than they made it look!
At the beginning of the event, we saw three kids who had chosen to donate to the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled as their B’nai Mitzvah Projects. This sparked our interest. After the event, we immediately asked our parents if we can also help in some way. This is how we chose the ISCD as our B’nai Mitzvah Project.
Our great grandparents, Rose and Abe Luski, (Z”L), were very involved with the Sport Center. It was an important place to them. Since their passing about three years ago, we want to continue this tradition of support and friendship, along with our entire extended family. By helping to bring happiness to the lives of children with disabilities and their families, it is a way that our hearts will always remain tied to those we love by carrying on our Bobe Rosa and Zeide’s legacy! The Center is not just about sports, it is about helping people with special needs rebuild their lives. It gives them something to be excited about and helps with their rehabilitation. We are proud to be able to participate in our own way.
For our B’nai Mitzvah project, we would be happy to have you join us in whatever way you wish in supporting The Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.
Thank you so much for your support, Rael and Mira
MAYAH CHAVA ROSENZWEIG
My name is Mayah Chava Rosenzweig and I am a 6th grader. This summer my family and I went to Israel and visited the ISCD facility for kids with disabilities. I first heard about this wonderful organization from one of the rabbi’s at my school. He knew that I really like sports and that I was hoping to find a place like the ISCD to do some chesed as part of my Bat Mitzvah. He also really likes this organization and after learning about it, visiting the campus, and getting a tour from one of the athletes who benefits from the ISCD, I fell in love with it too.
The ISCD is an organization that helps kids with disabilities by teaching them how to play sports. They do this because it helps them overcome their disabilities and it gives them a great amount of self-confidence and self-fulfillment. It makes them feel like there is nothing wrong with them and that they could do anything as long as they put their mind to it and try hard to achieve their goal. Some of the children who have gone to the ISCD have grown up to become amazing athletes in several different sports, including wheelchair basketball and ping-pong.
Now that you know a little more about what the ISCD does and how amazing it is, I would like to tell you what I am trying to do to help. In order to play on the ISCD’s wheelchair basketball team you need to have a special wheelchair that helps you move faster, holds you more securely, and is customized for your disability. A wheelchair like this is very expensive. I am trying to raise enough money to buy several wheelchairs as well as other sports related equipment. My goal is to raise $10,000. Please help me by donating to this fantastic organization.
Hi. My name is Emily Roth and I’m in 7th grade in California.
During this past Summer, I had an incredible Bat Mitzvah in Israel and I will be having another in California on December 7. I’ve chosen The Israel Sports Center for the Disabled for my Mitzvah project. I’ve always known about the Center as my parents and grandparents have been supporting the Center for many years. I love everything the Sports Center stands for. It’s an amazing place that helps children with disabilities overcome many physical and emotional obstacles though sports. I love playing tennis and volleyball. The Center helps disabled children participate in many sports in order to attain the goal of leading productive and successful lives. I’m really lucky that I’ve gotten to know many incredible athletes and have been able to visit the Center on my visits to Israel. Thank you for donating to this wonderful organization.
Ryan Altmann & Isaac Wolf
Our names are Ryan Altmann and Isaac Wolf and we both have our bar mitzvahs coming up in the next few months. For our mitzvah project, we have decided to raise money for the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled (ISCD), an organization that allows kids with disabilities to participate in all kinds of sports. We first heard about ISCD a few years ago when Ryan’s mom went to Israel and talked about how amazing it was. Then we participated in a few different events when the ISCD visited Atlanta, most recently at the Maccabi games this past Summer.
We have gotten to meet some of the athletes and they all say how the ISCD has become such an important part of their lives. We both love to play sports, especially basketball and we were amazed at how good the Wheelchair basketball players were from ISCD. And it’s not just basketball that the ISCD offers. There are 18 different sports that the kids can participate in, including tennis, soccer and competitive swimming. This organization is truly amazing and it would mean a lot to us if you could make a donation and support our mitzvah project.
Hi! My name is Julia Freedman, and I’m a 7th grader. I first learned about the ISCD at school when a speaker came and talked to us about the organization. I was thrilled to hear about the opportunities they provide for children with physical disabilities to overcome them and be able to play sports. I have always loved playing sports, and I’ve played many in my life including basketball, softball, gymnastics, tennis and soccer. I take it for granted that I am able to play sports easily with nothing holding me back. When I learned about ISCD, I knew I wanted to do something to help. Coincidentally, I discovered that my mom visited ISCD when she was on a recent trip to Israel. She was also blown away by the organization and all the people that they help in a fun environment. Recently, due to the generosity of the Atlanta community, the ISCD was able to build an adapted fitness center in Israel. However, they are in need of equipment. So I decided that I would like to try to raise $4500, which will enable me to donate a wheel chair and supply equipment including weights, medicine balls, mats and more. I would like to ask, if possible, for everyone to please donate a minimum of $5 for every working limb that they have. For example, a person with two arms and two legs could hopefully give a minimum of $20 dollars. I hope when you are making your donation, you’ll take a moment to realize that some people don’t have all working limbs available to them, but they still can be active and play all sports with our collective fundraising help.
Hello, My name is Leah Kleinstein, and I am choosing to do my mitzvah project to help those with disabilities play sports. I am 11 years old, and I am on a swim team called the Bluestreaks. I have been swimming since I was 4 years old.
I was at a fundraising dinner when I first learned about ISCD, and I felt that this was perfect for my mitzvah project. I felt bad for the kids and adults that couldn’t participate in the sports they would like to play. I think that people should be able to play sports even if they are disabled.
I was very lucky to visit the ISCD on my trip to Israel last summer. I had a private tour of the facility from one of the executives, named Boaz. I got to see the basketball team practicing for an upcoming tournament, as well as another girl playing tennis in a wheelchair. Being able to raise money for ISCD will help the center to have more wheelchairs for the kids and adults. Even if I raise the money for one wheelchair ($2,500), it can help many kids. So please help me support these kids to be able to play sports. Any donation is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Leah