Only 13, But has a Huge Heart

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The 5,720 miles that separate Marlboro, New Jersey from Jerusalem, Israel were recently bridged in an instant when one remarkable Bar Mitzvah Boy in Marlboro reached out to share with Jerusalem teens in need. The effort grew out of Seth Marx’s desire to combine the occasion of his upcoming Bar Mitzvah with a project that would help others and be tied to “something Jewish.” Fortuitously, his inspiration for an innovative “Mitzvah Project” idea dawned last May when his mother Robin suggested that they plan a shopping trip for next year’s school supplies.

“That’s it!” he exclaimed. “I’ll collect school supplies for a needy school in Israel!”

Thus, a brainchild was born. To actively involve his classmates in the charitable venture, Seth created the first “Locker Clean Out” drive at the Ranny Middle School – and perhaps at any school ever – devoted to collecting new or mint condition school supplies (“no longer needed or never used”) to be donated to less fortunate kids. After presenting the campaign’s objectives to the student body, Seth hung up flyers and positioned a large cardboard carton adjacent to the lockers where a treasure of school supplies lay stored. “In just a few days, the box was overflowing with great stuff,” he recalls.

Armed with a wealth of shiny new notebooks, pens, rulers, highlighters, scissors, protractors, backpacks and more, Seth consulted with his much‐loved Bar Mitzvah tutor Nissan Graham Mayk for a suitable school upon which to confer the gifts. Nissan immediately recommended Boys Town Jerusalem as an ideal recipient. “We read about the school and we liked it,” said Seth.

The next step was for Seth and his mother to sort through the sizeable lot of school supplies that his classmates had donated, selecting only the best to send to Israel. Nissan’s daughter Shyella kindly volunteered to bring a 50‐pound suitcase from Seth when she travelled to Israel in late June. Boys Town Jerusalem was waiting with open arms.

Seth is most proud of the fact that such a high percentage of the 150‐member Middle School student body lent a hand in the project. “Our school is made up of boys and girls, Jews and non‐Jews alike. Everybody helped!”

“We are touched and delighted with Seth’s gift of love to our students,” declared Boys Town Dean of Students Rabbi Moshe Linchner. “He personifies the timeless Jewish ethics of generosity and care for our brothers in need, wherever they may be. Seth is beginning his life as a Jewish man by initiating and performing a great mitzvah. May he continue to be a blessing to the Jewish People!”

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