The MVP program is a call to action that enables thirteen year olds to experience the transformative power of this passage year in their lives.
The Tikkun Olam curriculum is a curriculum of identity, exploration and action. We build the year on a tripartite theme based on the quote:
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If I am not for myself,Pirkei Avot
who will be for me?
If I am only for myself,
what am I?
And if not now—WHEN??
What is MVP?
Are 12 and 13 year olds capable of making a difference? Judging by the thoughtful and careful planning of Vancouver Talmud Torah’s Grade 7 students, our future is in very good hands.
This is the year in which our Grade 7 students become B’nei Mitzvah and learn about their responsibilities to the community and the world around them. The culmination of their Tikkun Olam learning happens with the Mitzvah of Valuing Philanthropy (MVP) program. Through acts of tzedekah and hesed, the students learn in a hands-on way what it means to become a caring and responsible adult.
During the year, students will select a mitzvah (commandment) of meaning to them, and then research, interview and select an agency that delivers on that mitzvah. They then present the mission and needs of their chosen agency to their classmates. The students subsequently work together to assess the needs and, as a class, decide how to allocate to every agency from their pool of funds. The year culminates in a Ceremony of Giving, as representatives from the chosen agencies come to VTT to receive their grants from the students.
Funding for the program comes from the students themselves. Each makes a minimum donation of $250 from B’Nei Mitzvah gifts and are encouraged to fundraise for more from family, friends and others. In 2013, the Grade 7 students raised a record $31,000! This year, 39 students contributed $27K to the the chesed initiative, thanks in large part to a $10K challenge grant by Chimp‘s Tzedakah Project. Since the program began in 2008, more than $220,000 has been raised and distributed to 178 agencies (many of whom who have received multi-year gifts).
VTT gratefully acknowledges the support of our entire community, especially the Irma Zack, z”l, Mitzvah of Valuing Philanthropy Endowment Fund, for so generously supporting this program.
Please contact Tirzah Abraham if you would like to learn more about MVP or to make a contribution.