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Bar mitzvah boy forgoes party, treats 200 IDF soldiers to dinner

"I felt that it wasn’t appropriate to have a party now. When I saw the soldiers eating and enjoying themselves, that was 1,000 times more meaningful," said Amichai Jackson.

Amichai Jackson is called up to the Torah on his bar mitzvah, January 2024. Credit: Courtesy.
Amichai Jackson is called up to the Torah on his bar mitzvah, January 2024. Credit: Courtesy.

Amichai Jackson, a bar mitzvah boy from the Gush Etzion community of Elazar, decided that in lieu of a party to mark the milestone event his parents should use the money to treat Israeli soldiers to dinner. 

Amichai was slated to celebrate his bar mitzvah a month after the breakout of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. He was called to the Torah and received his aliyah, but decided to push off his party to quieter times.

“After deliberating, Amichai decided to do something meaningful for the soldiers. Instead of having a party with family members and friends, the caterers prepared a huge meal including a hamburger bar with all the trimmings for 200 very happy soldiers,” said his mother Ilana.

Added Amichai: “I felt that it wasn’t appropriate to have a party now. When I saw the soldiers eating and enjoying themselves, that was 1,000 times more meaningful.” 

Gush Etzion Mayor and Yesha Council Chairman Shlomo Ne’eman said: “Dear Amichai, we were very moved by your decision to give the soldiers a sumptuous and festive meal instead of having your bar mitzvah party. The education you received from your parents exemplifies what it means to be Israeli. It is also a reflection of the patriotism of the next generation of youth growing up here in Gush Etzion.” 

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