12 year old Sammy Garfinkel was one of twenty seven Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids who recently scaled new heights after raising £20,000 for charity with a sponsored hike and mountain climb in the Lake District.
Accompanied by their parents, the 57-strong group from north-west London completed a 15km (10 mile) hike around Lake Derwent on Friday. Then on Sunday set off at the crack of dawn for a seven-hour climb up Helvellyn mountain – England’s third highest peak at 3117ft.
The event was organised by Sarah Sultman and Matthew and Natalie Jackson, from Mill Hill Shul.
Sarah said: “We came up with the idea for a Bnei Mitzvah challenge in shul one day. We wanted our kids to do something that would physically and mentally challenge them – getting them off their phones while motivating them to raise money for people in need.
“We took over an entire youth hostel with no ensuites, no wifi, no phone service and everyone had a truly memorable and spectacular weekend.”
Some other charities benefiting were Camp Simcha, Bet Halochem, Gesher, Emunah and Wateraid,
Sammy chose charity GIFT to raise money for as his mother Caroline has been a regular volunteer with the charity for the past four years, delivering food parcels to families struggling to put food on their table.
Caroline told us “I’ve been delivering for over four years now – I was looking for a charity to volunteer for that would fit in with being a working mum. The work GIFT does is incredibly important in ensuring no one goes hungry. Sammy chose to donate the money he raised on his Bnei Mitzvah challenge hike to GIFT because when he’s off school he comes with me, taking the food bags from the car to people’s doorsteps and he enjoys helping. He has also been really moved by the cause and says that no one should have to go without food as it is a basic necessity.”
GIFT’s objectives are teaching young people to be givers in order to help those in need.
To volunteer or donate please contact info@jgift.org 0208 457 4429