Mitzvot from the Heart

Jack Kahn, Congregation Shaare Emeth

“My Torah reading was about the Tower of Babel and how people wound up spread across the world with different languages. It struck me how important the power of communication is,” said Jack, son of Barbara and Alan Kahn of Frontenac.

Learning to read, write, and communicate are very important skills for a child to learn. Ready Readers, the organization that Jack teamed up with for his mitzvah project, helps preschool-age children acquire these skills.

Ready Readers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire children from low-income communities to love books and become readers by the time they enter kindergarten. Jack always liked reading and having stories read to him, so he thought this would be a perfect organization to support.

Jack asked everyone he knew to help him collect books appropriate for ages 2 to 5. Ladue Middle School, where he attends, allowed him to post flyers and place a collection bin in the lobby. He also received support from his temple, Congregation Shaare Emeth. And, he donated books from his own home that are no longer used.


After about two months, Jack delivered more than 200 new and gently used books to Lot-a-Luv Childcare Center in north St. Louis. The center was thrilled about the donation and having Jack read to the children. “I was lucky enough to read a few of my favorites to them and then give each kid in the class I read to, a book of their own to take home,” said Jack.  The rest of the books were sent home with other kids at the preschool.

Jack liked that he was able to provide books to kids that would not otherwise have them. It made him happy that he could help them with their education and learning. He said, “They were really good listeners and the preschool was warm and welcoming,” adding that he would love read to these children again.

Julia Auch, Ready Readers’ Early Childhood Literacy Specialist, said Jack is a real star. “Not only did he collect books for Ready Readers, but he wanted to visit the beneficiary of them and do story time with the kids.” 

For those of you looking for a mitzvah project, Ready Readers would appreciate your consideration. Contact Julia Auch at [email protected] or 314-564-8070.