Little Mensches

Making the World Better, One Mitzvah at a Time

Mazel Tov to The Little Mensches Team of Jessica Fink, Chairperson; Judy Nemzer, Shalom Baby/PJ Library Coordinator; Vivien Dean, Shalom Baby/PJ Library North County Coordinator for winning the Zahav from the JCC Association Biennial Excellence Awards! We are all so proud of you!

Zahav Award
Little Mensches: Family Mitzvah Projects

The Zahav Award recognizes truly outstanding, visionary initiatives with maximum impact or potential for change, which your entry certainly demonstrates. Sharing your entry with the field may have a transformative effect on the JCC Movement and all the people it touches. Your entries will be shared at the 2016 JCCs of North America Biennial in Baltimore and listed in the Biennial Awards Book and on the Biennial website.

Little Mensches Mission: Little Mensches aims to provide fun, engaging, and enriching opportunities for children between the ages of 4 and 8 to give back to their community. The goal is to Make the World Better One Mitzvah at a Time by allowing "giving back" to become a regular part of these children's lives.

Little Mensches Team: Jessica Fink, Chairperson; Judy Nemzer, Shalom Baby/PJ Library Coordinator; Vivien Dean, Shalom Baby/PJ Library North County Coordinator

Approximately once per month, typically on a Sunday at 1:00 pm, Little Mensches organizes a fun and engaging opportunity for children to give back to their community in some way. All activities are hands-on for the children, and most events last approximately one hour.

How Little Mensches Began: When Jessica Fink's oldest son was five years old, she began looking for some type of charitable project she and her son could participate in of a fairly regular basis. After calling several organizations, however, she discovered that most of the available opportunities were aimed at children much older than her son, and/or required substantial blocks of time and were not appropriate for a five year old boy. Jessica then reached out to Judy Nemzer and Vivien Dean, who together run the Shalom Baby and P.J. Library programs at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, to see if they knew of any mitzvah opportunities for the age group. When Judy and Vivien could not think of any programs, they suggested that the three women start such a program together. Thus, Little Mensches was born.

Little Mensches Testimonial:
This was my family’s first time attending Little Menches and we had an amazing time! I though it to be a very thoughtful event and was a great way for the children to engage and experience what challenges a disability presents itself to be.

I shared a few words with Judy, wishing that we would have a chatted a bit more with the actual child athletes (they were so good to come out an support OUR children), but otherwise Bravo!

My daughter will be soon falling out of the age group associated with such a brilliant program and I can only hope that we could be involved should another on for a 9-13 age group pop up. I also appreciated that you included bigger helper so that my son could b involved.

Thank you all for the experience and all your hard work in organizing - I’ll look forward to the next one!

Sharon Finzi

Little Mensches Testimonial:
Having the outstanding Little Mensches programs in place and organized with caring teaching moments aplenty is a HUGE gift to our community. I never take for granted that I can just show up and have my child learn the values we care about, and leave. I am so very grateful.

Little Mensches Testimonial:
We had a great time at our first event. Looking forward to joining many more in the future!! Thank you for organizing and leading the way for such a beneficial cause!!

Little Mensches Testimonial:
Hi there! We gave out our homeless kit yesterday in Mission Valley. It was a big hit and was wondering if you turned the others kits in or if you had any we could get from you? If not we will make our own. Chloe was so happy to make others feel better - just wanted to share. Savta Elyse"

Little Mensches Testimonial:
" Thank you for another outstanding Little Mensches event today! We are so thrilled to have discovered this group last month and it fits so nicely with community service activities we do with a group called Kids for Peace.

My son is 8 and wanted to be a helper this time. He was so proud and brought three friends and their families, too. I've received glowing feedback from all of them and thy plan on attending again.

My son and I already gave one bag to a man we saw as we got off the freeway in Hillcrest. We will distribute 10 more this week at the park.

Thanks again."

Little Mensches Testimonial:
"Hi!! I am thrilled to RSVP my 2 children, Shoshana (4) and Jacob (8) for the Little Mensches on Sunday. We probably enjoyed this event even more than some others last year! We are excited about this particular event because we got to take several of the bags home with us to deliver to the homeless as we could!! It really made an impact on my children, the volunteers ;) , to see homeless people receive the packages that we made for them at this event. They were able to see the process of putting the bags together, and the delivering them to people!! What a mitzvah!! For weeks after, Shoshana and Jacob would ask if we had more bags as we saw homeless people.

Thank you very much for having these mitzvahs for our children to participate in!!
Sincerely, Laura H."

Little Mensches

Hear from a Little Mensch why giving back is so important

See Little Mensches in Action

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