The idea for this simple DIY centerpiece was inspired by Neilah, who is becoming a Bat Mitzvah this coming Shabbat. Essentially, instead of spending money on traditional centerpieces, you donate money to your favorite charity and announce it with cards placed on the tables. It’s not a traditional centerpiece – it’s a different kind of beautiful.
Although we developed this idea for a Bat Mitzvah celebration, it would be great for a wedding or other celebration where the hosts want to share their joy by making the world around them a bit better.
For her Bat Mitzvah theme, Neilah chose “Tzedakah Around the World” (tzedakah, of course, means charity). From this choice alone, you can tell that Neilah is pretty cool. Her mom asked me to design the decorations for the kiddush and party. Inspired by Neilah, I suggested that her parents use a portion of the funds they had set aside for the decorations and donate it to charity. They chose three charities that are close to their hearts; a mix of local and international causes.
We made tent cards explaining the donations to place on the tables. We used good quality 8.5″ x 11″ paper, folded in half. The cards list the family’s chosen charities with descriptions, and we added images of Neilah and flowers to make them pretty and personal.
The top of the cards read:
“In keeping with Neilah’s Bat Mitzvah theme of “Tzedakah Around the World”, instead of purchasing centerpieces, we have made donations in honor of our guests to three charities.”
Three placards for each eight-person table — positioned close to the place settings rather than in the middle of the table — should enable everyone to see them and appreciate Neilah’s idea and her family’s donations. (Having fewer than one card for every two people at the table not only saves resources, it also should encourage conversation.)
Congratulations, Neilah, and thank you for bringing your generous, independent spirit to the world. Siman Tov u’Mazel Tov: Your Bat Mitzvah is a good sign and good fortune for all of us!
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Free Printable Templates for Tzedakah (Charity) Favor Cards