Instead of Bar Mitzvah Gifts, a Kid Asked His Friends and Family to Help Buy an Ambulance in Israel
13-year-old Robert Leeds of Sacramento, California celebrated his bar mitzvah last March with 800 friends and family members. But Robert didn't want them to give him gifts. Instead, he asked them to donate money to buy an ambulance for Sacramento's sister city of Ashkelon, Israel. (Ashkelon is about 50 miles west of Jerusalem.)
Ashkelon needs an ambulance, because it's located a few miles from the Gaza strip and frequently gets hit by rockets. And now, ten months later, Robert's friends and family have donated enough to buy the ambulance. The city of Sacramento accepted the gift in a ceremony on Tuesday . . . and sent it off to Ashkelon.
Robert said, "Becoming a man to me meant standing up for my brothers and sisters in Israel and helping to cushion the blow that they experience on a daily basis."