Making a mitzvah a simcha

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TanTan Kuti-Alexander plays the grand piano on the bimah at Temple Israel

At Temple Israel all our bar or bat mitzvah students do a mitzvah to make the world around them better. 

It is one thing to be called to the Torah, but another to clean a river, read to a resident at Highlands House or support a soup kitchen. In honour of his bar mitzvah Tan Tan Kuti-Alexander arranged a concert with some of his friends from school to raise funds for Glendale.

The concert, held during Sukkot, was a huge success both musically and financially. The repertoire ranged from classical piano pieces to contemporary pop music and featured the outstanding talents of the 13-14 year-olds of the congregation. Performers were Tan Tan Kuti-Alexander, Rio Fisher, Aidan Cohen, Mila Smith, Michaela Perkel, Gabriel Sieff, Gabriel Dubb, Matthew Lubner, Yasmin Kuti-Alexander, Jamie McNally, and Skyscapers made up of Mila Smith, Leo Letschert, and Daniel Buchalter.

The evening raised R10 000 for Glendale, who sent a group of residents to come along on the evening, and of course, Charles Brand made a speech.  Thank you to the musicians, parents, staff, audience and volunteers who all helped to make this mitzvah project a reality.

To add simcha to the whole week, on Simchat Torah, Temple Israel took the music (and the rabbis and the Torah) to Glendale home.  Congregants joined with residents to dance with the Torah and sing our hearts out. From Hava Nagila to Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu, the dancing and festivities went on and on, sealed with a Torah reading of course.  Thank you to Glendale for providing the eats and to Ari Scharfstein for the music. Everyone was moved by the occasion, and we hope this will become an annual event.

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