Mitzvot from the Heart: Alec Bleyer

Alec Bleyer

Alec Bleyer, Congregation United Hebrew 

Alec participated in United Hebrew’s HaDerech Mitzvot, a program to enhance the student’s connection to Judaism as they prepare for their bar or bat mitzvah. Throughout the past year, Alec, son of Diane and Craig Bleyer of Clarkson Valley, completed a total of 12 mitzvot in the categories of Torah (study), avodah (worship and Jewish practice), and gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness).  At the end of the year, he completed a summary that included how he felt about turning 13, what it means for him to be Jewish, what role God plays in his life, and what his hopes are for his Jewish involvement in the future. 

For the category of Torah, Alec interviewed his grandfather about what his life was like when he was 13 years old. “It was very interesting to learn about what life was like for someone my age in St. Louis over 60 years ago,” Alex said. “Even though my grandpa had to walk 1.5 miles to school each day, we both share common things like attending Jewish sleep away camp and being a sports fanatic.”

For avodah, Alec wanted to learn about the similarities and differences between Judaism and his friend’s religion, so he and his family attended services at his friend’s  non-denominational church, where they heard a sermon about Jeremiah, the Prophet.

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Lastly, for the category of gemilut chasadim, Alec donated a portion of his bar mitzvah gifts to the Jewish Food Pantry and volunteered his time there as well.

A student at Crestview Middle School, Alec said, “HaDerech Mitzvot has broadened my knowledge and desire to incorporate Judaism in my life during the school year just as I look forward to doing each summer at Camp Livingston. At Camp Livingston, in addition to having lots of fun, I get to learn about Judaism in a very positive environment with my Jewish friends.”

Added Alec’s mother: “The HaDerech Mitzvot program has taught Alec to be a responsible and a contributing member of the community. The Derech Mitzvah program has changed Alec’s perspective on the importance of Judaism and made him more excited to learn about his culture.”