This morning we held a special prayer in Ben Yakir Youth Village, when the first student this year celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and read his Parsha.
The student, Lior Wanda from the Oren group, 7th grade student, was called up to the bimah for an Aliyah in the village's synagogue, in the presence of his family, friends and the entire 'Ben Yakir' family - students and staff. Lior wore tefilin for the first time in his life, in the presence of his uncle Ephraim, and read the weekly Parsha - Noah.
The Aliyah is the first stage of our Bar Mitzvah project, during which the Bar Mitzvah students get to go on a trip to Jerusalem, and which highlights in a special day - when the families and many honored guests are invited to an impressive Bar Mitzvah celebration here in Ben Yakir.
The Aliyah and torah reading has become a long lasting tradition in Ben Yakir, when every student that reaches 13, participates in this ceremony with his family members, which are invited to the village and receive great honor and satisfaction in a powerful experience of once in a lifetime.
Of course we did not leave out the traditional throwing of candy at the Bar Mitzvah boy, and the traditional blessing 'Blessed is He who has now freed me from the responsibility of this boy', recited by Lior's mother. The village director blessed Lior 'god shall bless you and guard you', to the voice of Ben Yakir students singing 'siman tov and mazal tov'.
We wish Lior mazal tov, good life and good deeds.
Boarding school Director
Ben Yakir Youth Village
Photographs: Boris Visoky