Giving Begins Early for Dahlia Weinstein

When Dahlia Weinstein began preparing for her bat mitzvah, one thing was very clear to her: “I didn’t feel the need to get presents,” she says. “I mean, I don’t really need anything so I thought why not have people give to something I care about, like Jeremiah Program.”

This past January, upon her bat mitzvah, her generous friends and family followed her wishes and contributed nearly $1,500 to Jeremiah Program Minneapolis-St. Paul!

Dahlia was introduced to Jeremiah in 2015 when she was a 6th grader at City of Lakes Waldorf School. Students had been encouraged to start a volunteer project, which coincided with her bat mitzvah preparation at Temple Israel. She first participated in Cook for Kids but quickly became a weekly volunteer in the child development center, playing with Jeremiah children while mothers attended life skills classes.

“I love kids and have a ton of playing with them,” Dahlia says. “I mean, a whole roomful of kids is really fun. It’s not like work really.” This past fall, she also involved a group of girls from her school who banded together to make chili and cornbread for Cook for Kids.

Dahlia’s mother, Betsy Langer, says her experience at Jeremiah exposed her to important new situations and people. “Volunteering at Jeremiah put a lot of questions in motion for Dahlia, but every time she came home, she was full of hope.”

Dahlia, now a 7th grader, says she has learned a great deal as a volunteer. “I’ve heard so many stories about women and how they work and what they are doing in life. It’s really fun to meet more people and just have fun.”