Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to our most frequently asked questions can be found here
Our b’nei mitzvah programs broaden awareness of social issues and provide hands-on volunteering opportunities for our families to give back. It’s flexible, fun and rewarding.
Our organisation is pluralistic and independent. We are not affiliated with any other Jewish organisation (although we volunteer with several). We are inclusive, open and welcome Jewish families of all backgrounds, sexual orientations and ideologies.
- Ours is a pluralistic program open to any Bar/Batmitzvah aged young person who identifies as Jewish.
- Ours is a family volunteering experience, with an adult accompanying the young person in each session. We create a unique opportunity to explore a diverse range of social justice issues whilst making a contribution to the community via hands-on volunteering – together.
- Many of our volunteering opportunities are not generally available to the public and our sessions and content are tailored to our participants’ age group.
Our volunteering sessions range between one hour to two hours in length and are held only on Sundays. Partner charities are selected to provide rich experiential engagement, exploring a diverse range of social justice issues (such as homelessness, disability, literacy, food security), through a variety of volunteering activities (such as cooking food, visiting elderly residents, making emergency packs for children in care etc).
Sessions are planned and developed in close collaboration with the relevant community partners by the Program Manager and delivered to our families by our team of dedicated volunteer facilitators.
A 2022 calendar [subject to potential changes outside our control] will be provided in mid December 2021. We understand that you may not be able to attend every element of the diverse program offering. A wide variety of sessions and activities are offered to provide flexibility to suit learning styles and varying time commitments. While each session is not strictly compulsory, we encourage you to attend as often as possible as the program offers unique workshops to ensure a comprehensive and rich experience. We ask that once you RSVP your attendance, please commit to attending, otherwise let us know in advance so that we might accommodate other families who may have missed out.
Twelve and Thirteen is a family program and we encourage parents and grandparents to share this special journey. The adult is seen as an equal participant and for each volunteering session, each young person must be accompanied by an adult, preferably a parent or grandparent . If a parent/grandparent cannot attend, then another family member is of course welcome. We strongly encourage the adult participant to make an effort to be genuinely attuned and engaged in our sessions. Your role in the program is to volunteer and participate alongside your young person, providing a rich and memorable shared experience for your family.
We are unable to specifically organise friends to be together as families will be self-selecting which session they would like to attend each month. Part of the appeal and benefit of our program is that your teen can meet others their age from across the Jewish community. Young adults and parents may miss out on valuable interaction with others if they attend sessions with friends for every session. We have worked hard to ensure diversity is embedded in our program, with a healthy mix of schools and interests to encourage our families to get to know others.
Yes, participants will be sent invitations to available sessions regularly. Each session will have limited spots, it will be on a first come first served basis. Whilst you won’t be able to attend every single face to face session on offer, many of our workshops are repeated more than once, so if you don’t get in the first time, you can look out for the session in future months. Not all charities are able to offer sessions enough times to cater to our full cohort, however we make every effort to ensure you are offered a variety of sessions.
From time to time, we ask you to bring or collect particular items (some new, some good quality second hand). We encourage you to do this with your young person and involve them in as much of the process as possible. For example, this could include going to the supermarket together to buy non-perishable grocery items or collecting second hand books from family and friends etc.
The first workshop in February is for parents and your young adult. It covers behavioral expectations and values, why and how we volunteer, as well as introducing the workings of the program to the participants. It will be immediately followed by a fun volunteering activity to kick off the program. It will be run by internal and external facilitators with experience in creating connections and a sense of community. Workshops are interactive, thought provoking and fun.
This is a heartwarming afternoon that honours your bat/bar mitzvah participant and your family’s journey during the year. It will also be an opportunity to explore the different social justice campaigns and topics we’ve explored. Usually held in October – date to be confirmed closer to the time. Grandparents, siblings and extended family are welcome.
Our facilitators are volunteers and our Program Manager’s salary is covered by major donor funding, so what do your fees cover? There are numerous costs associated with running our volunteering sessions, including administrative costs, venue hire, support for our charity partners to run sessions for us on a Sunday and pay their staff, session materials, including food for cooking meals, toiletries for essential packs, etc and charity donations. We do not want any family to not participate because of financial concerns, so please reach out to us if you require special financial consideration or support.