JFS Perspectives

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A Mouth-Watering Mitzvah

A Mouth-Watering Mitzvah

More than a year ago, Brooke Gralla met with Nancy Benyamin, JFS director of Volunteer Services, to discuss ideas for her daughter Julia’s upcoming mitzvah project and to find ways they could volunteer together. Brooke and Julia decided to volunteer with Lunchbox Express delivering meals and books to low-income children throughout the metro area last summer.

Brooke and Julia GrallaThey both loved the experience and decided to volunteer for the program again this year. Julia, now 13, says, “I love giving the kids food and reading books to them. I think the kids enjoy being read to and the opportunity to take home a book to keep.”

When Julia was planning her mitzvah project, she knew she wanted to support Lunchbox Express and came up with a brilliant idea that combines her two passions—cooking and reading. Since she is an accomplished cook, she decided to teach younger kids about different foods and how to cook them.

Julia's Cooking CampHer “Cooking Camp” took off and groups of kids in her Homestead neighborhood lined up to participate—and pay $25 for each camp session. She held camps on Italian, Mexican, Asian, and continental cuisines and built a loyal following. Not only did her campers learn some basic cooking skills, but also got to enjoy their delicious creations and try new foods.

The best part? Her mitzvah project raised $600, which will feed hundreds of children in need!

“Our staff is so grateful for Julia’s commitment to help those experiencing hunger,” Nancy says. “We are both inspired and impressed by her creative and meaningful mitzvah project that will benefit other kids in the community.”

Learn more about volunteer opportunities for all ages!


META DESCRIPTION: 13-year-old Julia Gralla combined two of her passions to create a mitzvah project to help feed hundreds of children in need through Jewish Family Service's Lunchbox Express program.