Adina Falk was so inspired by a friend’s bat mitzva project that she wanted to find a way to give back in honor of her big day as well.
So the 12-year-old girl decided to write “I Say,” a song about the importance of helping people.
With the help of her family and some friends, Adina’s composition is now for sale online to raise money for ALEH, an Israeli program that helps the developmentally disabled.
“I really wanted to help people,” said Adina, who became a bat mitzva at the end of June. She lives in East Brunswick, N.J., with her parents, David and Michele and her two older brothers, Jonathan, 16, and Daniel, 14.
David is originally from Pittsburgh and his mother, Esther Falk, and his developmentally disabled brother, Josh, still live in the city. It was Josh who inspired Adina’s song.
“We’re all very close with him and so that was a cause that was important to her,” said David. “We were very impressed that she had this idea and this initiative and this desire to help others.”
B’nai mitzva projects are a growing trend, and organizations such as ALEH are getting more accustomed to hearing about them.
“When Adina told us about her project — inspired by her uncle who is disabled — we were blown away by her creativity, the depth of the idea and the effort she put into bringing it all together,” Dov Hirth, ALEH’s b’nai mitzva project coordinator, said in an e-mailed response to questions.
“Her song is so beautiful and carries such a powerful message,” Hirth continued. “At ALEH, our goal is to give the disabled population of Israel the opportunity to reach their fullest potentials. Adina’s song brings this message home, reminding all who will listen that we can do something for this population, we can make a difference in someone’s life.”
The Falks won’t know for another month how many copies of the song have sold on iTunes, but they are already impressed with the support Adina has received from the community.
ALEH likes to use the money donated from b’nai mitzva projects toward efforts they believe would interest the giver. In this case, Hirth thinks it would be fitting to use Adina’s donation to help purchase music therapy equipement.
(Ilana Yergin can be reached at email@example.com.)