April 23, 2024
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#OnlySimchasBoys to Gather Tefillin for B’nai Mitzvah Project

Twin brothers Yoni and Ilan Katz grew up in Bergenfield, NJ before making Aliyah with their family to Modi’in, Israel in the summer of 2011. While in New Jersey, the boys were students at Yeshivat Noam in Paramus, where their mother Shira taught for 10 years. Most years since moving to Israel, they have spent their summers in Teaneck, and attended Camp Mesorah. The boys currently attend 7th grade at Sha’alvim middle school in Nof Ayalon. They have made an amazing group of close friends in Israel, and are still close with their friends in the US.

While in Israel they have been fortunate to get involved in several chesed opportunities. One that they have found to be both meaningful and fun is Colel Chabad’s Pantry Packers initiative, where they pre-package dry food that is then distributed to needy families.

In March, they put on tefillin for the first time at the Kotel, and realized that not everyone has that special opportunity. They learned that Colel Chabad is planning a large bar/bat mitzvah celebration for 70 boys their age and 70 bat mitzvah–aged girls the night after Yoni and Ilan celebrate their own bar mitzvah in April in Jerusalem.

The brothers decided to embark on a campaign to raise $21,000 in order to allow each boy to get his own pair of tefillin at his bar mitzvah party. Since their father Dov is one of the founders of OnlySimchas.com, they have been reaching out to the site’s audience to attract further contributions from the greater Jewish community.

To donate, please visit http://simch.as/yik2016. To learn more about their story and this appeal, please visit http://www.onlysimchas.com/news/27939/help-onlysimchasboys-purchase-tefillin-for-70-fatherless-boys.

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