Celebrate your bnai mitzvah and help Israel, too

los angeles | About to celebrate your bar or bat mitzvah? Here’s a way to enjoy the day and help Israel as well.

The Western region of the American Red Magen David for Israel (ARMDI), which supports Magen David Adom (MDA) — Israel’s Red Cross — has begun a project to do just that.

The program — called Gift of Life — offers several ways for bar/bat mitzvah boys or girls and their families to become involved, including contributing a portion of the gift money they receive, suggesting guests make a gift to ARMDI in lieu of one to the celebrant and having ARMDI tzedakah cans at the ceremony and celebration.

Each bar/bat mitzvah gift is acknowledged with a personalized card of thanks.

“This program is unique in that we also encourage participation after the bar/bat mitzvah,” said Martin M. Cooper, Western region chairman of ARMDI.

“Of course, we welcome annual contributions, but we also encourage the entire family to sign-on as volunteers and participate in community fairs and outreach programs. In other words we’d like them to become ambassadors for our organization among their friends, family and the community at large.”

ARMDI is the sole authorized U.S. fund-raising organization for MDA and has raised more than $200 million over the past 30 years for emergency medical equipment, supplies and building facilities in Israel. As a result, it has enabled the purchase of more than 2,400 fully equipped ambulances and mobile intensive-care units for use in Israel. It also has built a $36 million National Blood Service Center that supplies 100 percent of Israel’s blood needs.

For more information about including ARMDI in your family’s bar/bat mitzvah, call (818) 776-9002, or (800) 323-2371.