Lessons learned

Index-header What do you do with the Bar Mitzvah money? 

I never gave money to Bar/Bat Mitzvahs but at one point, I started giving money instead of gifts for a few reasons.  The money can last a very long time if you learn from it.  It gives you an opportunity to manage your money and learn how to make money vs sitting in a piggy bank at a young age of 13 but in the Jewish religion that is the age of adulthood.  So, our rule of thumb is basically that you have to give a portion of your money to a charity of your choice.  Something that you really care about.  Another portion goes into a money market fund and the other portion goes into the stock market.  It is up to you to watch those stocks and see them grow or not.  To make decisions based on the information that you read to help you make those choices.  Of course, we give guidance but it really has been a good education for both Jessica and Emily.  They both have done pretty well.  Now Josh gets to enter the group.

Josh said from the very beginning that he was going to give money to his favorite organization, Hoops 4 Hope.  Mark Crandall, who began the organization, runs the camp that Josh attending in East Hampton for many years.  The nicest guy.  The camp used to bring kids over every year from Africa to participate for a week or so at the camp.  It really made an impact on Josh and he never forgot it.  Hoops 4 Hope supports over 10,000 school ages kid in basketball programs in Africa.  Those skills help the kids navigate many other avenues of their life from life skills to HIV awareness, etc.  In many ways, I think the basketball is just a sidebar.   

Josh sent off the check with a note today.  He thought it was just standard stuff but for me, it was a lesson learned that with success comes the responsibility of giving back to others that are not as fortunate.  I hope that he, as well as his sisters, will make that a part of their life forever. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Scott

    That’s a great idea — perhaps even allocate a portion to kiva.org

    1. Gotham Gal

      I am a fan of kiva.org

  2. Tanya Monteiro

    I wish you had a connection so I could share this easily with Facebook. Recently I attended a retreat with 20 inspiring women. After having been away from the US for 1.5 years I was quickly reminded of the giving nature society in the US. I’ll cut and paste this blog for those ladies to share and keep reminding themselves of the good things they are living amongst too. I come from Africa, living in America exposed me to more money than I knew even existed AND more giving than I had ever imagined possible! Im inspired by how you teach your children, THANK YOU.Tanya

    1. Gotham Gal

      Giving back and non-profits is a big thing in the US. I have a friend who spent time trying to create that type of mind set with CEOs in South America. Europeans who for whatever reason end up raising their kids here, generally have to be educated on giving back.One of the good lessons taught from an early age in the US in our school systemjoanne [email protected]

  3. Juliet Grossman

    Very inspiring! I linked you to my blog about thank you notes because I often touch on issues facing bnai mitzvot. The blog post is here (http://) thankfullysimple (dot) blogspot (dot com.)