Surrounded by family and friends, 13-year-old Nola became a Bat Mitzvah in New Orleans.
For her mitzvah project, Nola raised more than $2,000 in funds for Half the Sky by selling copies of Wish You Happy Forever and gathering donations.
Nola explained why she chose Half the Sky in her speech at the ceremony:
For my mitzvah project, I am selling copies of Wish You Happy Forever by Jenny Bowen and am donating all of the profit from the sale of her book to Half the Sky, an organization that helps Chinese orphanages.
The organization teaches nannies to care for orphans and makes the orphanages better for young children.
I am committed to this project because I was taken to an orphanage when I was only a few weeks old. I was one of 8 babies the orphanage considered ‘perfect,’ but no one’s perfect.
I think one of my talents I brought to this project was that I have gone through this experience. I may not remember, but it makes me want to try hard to give children who were not as lucky as I was a good place to grow up.
I have learned one person can make a big change in the world. In Wish You Happy Forever, Jenny Bowen created the organization Half the Sky. I think a life of mitzvoth, or giving back to the community, is important because some people are not as fortunate as I am.
Nola’s mom Cheryl responded: “You, my beautiful daughter, are destined to make an impact on the world, and I look forward to watching you continue to grow and blossom.” So do we at Half the Sky.