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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels


Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Those who know Caila also know that she has been planning her Bat Mitzvah celebration for 4 years!!! Since Temira’s Bat Mitzvah Caila has been planning her menu, invitations, wine selection and repeatedly checked with all our overseas family if they will be joining her!!! At some point, the planning was so overwhelming that we told Caila that she had to wait until her 11th birthday before talking about her Bat Mitzvah.

As a Type-A mom - I was planning multiple events for the Bat Mitzvah with Jodi-style execution. I had my master to do list, list to pack, list to shop, list to buy. I had the guest list, the "Team Caila" marathon list, the hosts for my 36 guests coming in from abroad and the day trips for overseas guests planned. On the home front we had the furniture cleaned, floors polished, blinds fixed and even had Zoey our poodle groomed with just the right amount of time so she would too look just perfect on the day. And of course, the Bat Mitzvah girl had all her pretty dresses and we were working on all her speeches.

About two weeks ago, after the Jerusalem marathon was cancelled, I realized that some parts of the celebrations may have to be modified or even delayed. The announcements from the government got more drastic and we realized that some parts would have to be cancelled. We printed the benchers with no dates, put holds on many things and took a deep breath. Then we realized we would push it all off for a later date and just have a small celebration for 50 of our closest friends over Shabbat. And then the announcement of last night – all events are limited to 10 guests only!!!!!!!

While we realize that we are not simply postponing a party but contributing to Israel’s amazingly proactive measures to keep her citizens safe and saving lives, it is a more difficult concept for Caila to fully understand and put her disappointment in context!

We are also extremely proud that Caila’s Bat Mitzvah fundraising campaign raised over $20,000 and still counting. We (PG) will one day go and visit the village and see the impact. By bringing water and electricity we are truly able to transform a village in a poor African country. Now that we have hit the $20,000 target, in addition to water and solar power, we will be able to bring computers, desks and latrines to the school. The more funds we collect the greater the impact on the village. We will be able to use any additional funds for medical supplies for the village clinic and other urgent needs. Many thanks to the 181 people who have joined our campaign.

To contribute:

Today is Caila’s Hebrew birthday and she is now a woman according to Jewish law.

While we won’t be partying to celebrate this very special occasion, we do plan to host something later in the year. However, I ask all of you to raise (with appropriate social distancing) a toast to a special young lady. Feel free to send her written message and videos to or whattsapp +1 917 657 7482

Gavin and I share our toast to Caila:

Dear Caila,

You have many special gifts and we are 100 percent sure that the day you were born was the day G-d decided the world would be a better place because you are in it.

Caila, on your 12th birthday, here are 12 attributes that stand out to us:

Purity - you always see the world without negativity or malice Self-awareness - you understand your strengths and challenges and you persevere no matter what Genuine interest and empathy in people - you really care about people and since you were young you have always surprised adults by asking genuine questions and calling to check up on the sick No jealousy - we have never ever seen you show jealousy - you are truly able to accept who you are and what you have Simple Wonder - it’s a joy to see the way you see the world, CailaPure Love - you never forget to hug and be affectionate. I know no matter where I am, I will get multiple messages a day telling me “Imma, how was your day? I love you so much”Clarity - Caila you never filter the world through prejudices. You see situations clearly and most often through a prism of positiveness Goodness - Caila never forgets to take charity to school. She has traveled a lot and seen poor people. When we suggested the idea of helping poor people rather than having a big party and lots of gifts you loved the idea and have been sharing the messages with all your friends, family and guests who come to our home!Inability to hold a grudge - nothing ruffles you, after five minutes all is forgotten. Unbridled determination - you start your day at 6am and are on the go to 8 pm every day. You work so hard at school, therapies and activities. You never show frustration and you never give up!!! Love of partying - just watching you Caila at any event and seeing your joy on the dance floor. Inspiration – your ability to teach the world a lesson through everything you do

Caila we love and adore you and we look forward to sharing your journey to womanhood.


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