In first person… Doing good deeds daily

To me a bar mitzvah is not a time for presents, good food or even fame. A bar mitzvah is a time to become an adult in the Jewish community. I'm not going to do a volunteer program or anything like that; I'm going to do 18 mitzvahs up to my bar mitzvah at Congregation Emanu-El.

It isn't about doing good deeds just for your bar mitzvah. It's about learning that you should just do good deeds every day.

Some good deeds I do are really easy! I love to cook, so when I cook I bring some of whatever I've cooked over to my elderly neighbors next door. That's a nice mitzvah. I also donate money every other month or so to a charity that helps homeless people, needy children and elderly. I put aside part of my allowance, so the money can go help other people who need it.

My grandmother was the wonderful person who started Chai House in Silicon Valley. It's a place for seniors to live when they can't live alone anymore. She didn't get any money for it; she did it because it was the right thing to do. And I think that what made her wonderful was that, every day, she did a good deed just by keeping Chai House up and running. And if you ask me what a bar mitzvah is really about, it's about doing good and not just learning the aleph bet.