Jessie Goldberg, B’nai Amoona

Jessie Goldberg dedicated her mitzvah project to helping people with cancer.

As Jessie prepared for her bat mitzvah, she wanted to make a difference with her time and energy. As she worked with Rabbi Josef Davidson on her interpretation of her portion she asked the question: How do you separate a person from his or her actions? 

On the morning of her bat mitzvah she said, “My maftir is about how G-d wants us to forget Amalek but remember what they have done so that their actions are not repeated. G-d wanted all traces of the Amalekites gone like people today want all traces of cancer gone. We want to remember the people that had cancer but not remember the cancer.”

Jessie chose Friends of Kids with Cancer (FKWC) because she felt strongly about participating in an activity that would help others in the community. She wanted to do something in the fight for cancer and she liked that FKWC worked directly with kids that are impacted by cancer. 

“I chose this organization because I wanted to work with kids who had cancer and my mom looked around and found this one. FKWC were extremely welcoming and interested in helping me work on a project.”

For the hands-on project, Jessie baked treats for the kids and families at the Pratt Center at Mercy Hospital each month for a year. She involved her friends in the baking over the summer. In October FKWC hosts a giant Halloween party at an old farm. Jessie and two friends hosted a booth and had a lot of fun interacting with the kids and their siblings. In addition, Jessie gave every friend who came to her bat mitzvah celebration a FKWC bracelet by donating some of her bat mitzvah gifts. 

Working with FKWC, Jessie said, “It made me feel helpful and as if I could really do something and accomplish something. It made me feel important to be able to help the kids and families have fun for an afternoon and maybe forget what they are going through. FKWC staff spoke with us and said one of the great things about the carnival is that you never know anyone’s story-so you learn to treat everyone the same.”

One of the other reasons she chose this organization is because of her Uncle Steve, who succumbed to cancer after a brave fight. “I can remember my Uncle Steve without remembering the cancer,” said Jessie. “In this way, I honor him and our memories together.”