Jeremy Abraham, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Jeremy Abraham, Congregation Shaare Emeth

An avid reader, Jeremy wanted to share his passion of books with young children. For his mitzvah project, he chose to support Ready Readers, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring preschool children from low-income communities to become readers.

Each day during spring break, Jeremy, son of Amy Peck Abraham and Jesse Abraham of Ladue, visited Veasley’s Tender Loving Care Child Development Center in the north St. Louis Baden neighborhood. He read classic pre-school books to children, aged three to five years old.

On the last day, the caregivers gave Jeremy a thank-you poster with all the handprints of the children. He, in turn, gave them each a copy of the book “Jamaica’s Find.” The end of the week ended with lots of smiles, hugs, and Hershey kisses.

Jeremy, a graduate of the College School in Webster Groves, also organized a gently used book collection to benefit Ready Readers.  The teachers from the early childhood classrooms at the school asked him to reorganize their book closet.  They welcomed Jeremy to donate many of the books.  This fall Jeremy will be attending Ladue Horton Watkins High School.


 In April, 10 boxes packed with about 400 books were delivered to Ready Readers for their volunteers to read and to give books to children when they visit their pre-schools.

In his bar mitzvah speech,  Jeremy spoke about his time working with the children.

“Each day I read books to them, sang ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ with them, and made memories,” he said. “These children come from low-income families that do not have time or money to buy and read books to their children. Reading to these children when they are young helps them love reading, and will continue to help them academically. Then they will hopefully get a college degree, which will help them get a good job, and break the cycle of poverty.”

“While tending to the present needs of low income families is good, actually finding the causes of poverty and preventing it from happening in the future is better,” Jeremy continued. “While I did not help all these children through school and getting a degree, I did give them a valuable tool to learn and better themselves. Who knows what difference a small act can make?”

Jeremy’s mother added, “I’m so glad I was there each day when he read to the children for his mitzvah project. I will always remember him reading to them the books ‘Jamaica’s Find’ about the responsibility of doing the right thing and ‘Rainbow Fish’ about finding happiness by sharing.  He did touch those children’s lives and they left their hand prints on him as well.”