Mitzvot from the heart: Elizabeth Bleyer

Elizabeth Bleyer (center) recruited friends Sabrina and Jillian Wolfman for her bat mitzvah project.

Elizabeth Bleyer, United Hebrew Congregation 

The residents at Parc Provence, a memory care facility in Creve Coeur, were in for a treat when Elizabeth and her friends performed this past summer. 

Sabrina and Jillian Wolfman played violin and flute while Elizabeth was the vocalist. Because research has shown that music engages the brain and helps trigger memories, Elizabeth felt that this project was a great way to share her love of music.

Elizabeth, a student at Crestview Middle School, is the daughter of Diane and Craig Bleyer of Clarkson Valley. Craig Bleyer said Elizabeth’s Torah portion stressed the importance of charity, helping one another and being a good member of the community. It taught Elizabeth that helping people in need is an important part of being a good Jew and a good citizen. 

The girls planned programs in which they performed familiar songs for the residents who would sing along, guess a song and even make requests. Each time the girls entertained at Parc Provence, they performed for a different “household,” which represent the various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. 

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Elizabeth said her favorite songs were “Over the Rainbow” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and her group would be sure to perform these songs during each visit.  She loved hearing the residents sing along with them.

“When I first started, I performed mostly for personal enjoyment and improvement,” Elizabeth said. “I now realize that when I perform, I bring joy to my family, friends and members of the community. 

“As a society, we must think more about how our actions affect others rather than on focusing on only ourselves. We are all members of a greater community and must do our parts to help people in need, whether that be performing or donating to the poor.”  

Diane Bleyer said, “The trio received great feedback from Parc Provence, and the residents welcomed them regularly… The performances definitely helped the residents relax and elevate their spirits.” 

Elizabeth looks forward to continuing to perform at Parc Provence as well as other places in the community to share her gift of singing.