Mitzvot from the heart: Jonah Feinstein

Jonah Feinstein put his love for baseball to good use in his mitzvah project, vounteering with St. Louis Challenger Baseball.

Jonah Feinstein

Congregation Shaare Emeth

Jonah is a student at Wydown Middle School and really likes to help others. Son of Vickie and Eric Feinstein of Clayton, he made sure that his mitzvah projects allowed him to volunteer his time and support to others in need.

His first project was at Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Soulard, which serves homemade meals to residents of its shelter as well as to families and individuals in the area on limited or fixed incomes. Jonah’s mother’s employer, Ascension Healthcare, sponsors a meal there on the 19th of each month. Jonah joined the group of Ascension associates and pitched in setting up and serving meals to the 75 to 100 individuals who came. After dinner Jonah cleaned the tables, swept the floor and emptied trashcans.

For his second project, Jonah worked with St. Louis Challenger Baseball, a league for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The program’s main goal is to help participants make friends. Teams don’t count outs or runs. Everybody plays, everybody scores and everybody wins. 

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Jonah’s role as one of the buddies was to play catch and provide the players guidance and general support. The most important thing a buddy can do is to be a friend to the players. Each session was for eight weeks and Jonah participated in nearly every Saturday morning and sometimes joined the Tuesday evening session.  

At one of the games, a player was particularly talkative and interested in hearing about Jonah’s baseball team. When they came off the field, the player asked his grandmother if they could go to Jonah’s game later that week. While they didn’t actually make it, Jonah was so excited because he truly felt that he had made a connection with this person.

With baseball as his favorite sport, Jonah said being able to help others with something he loves to do was a great opportunity for him to make a contribution and feel valued for it. 

In addition to Jonah’s volunteering, he donated a portion of his bar mitzvah gifts to the Siteman Cancer Center. He also donated his party centerpieces of books and toys to Children’s Hospital, where he spent the first several weeks of his life in neo-natal intensive care.