Meet Eliana Reiter, a recent Bnei Mitzvah participant and a wonderful Sunflower Bakery volunteer
The following is an excerpt from her Bat Mitzvah speech (May 28, 2018):
This year I participated in the Sunflower Bakery Bnei Mitzvah Seeds Program. Sunflower bakery is a non-profit bakery that employs young adults with disabilities and teaches them to work in pastry baking and related food industries. The people who go through the Sunflower Bakery Program can get jobs in all types of bakeries or retail food stores. As part of the Sunflower Bnei Mitzvah program we learned about many types of disabilities and how they can affect people’s lives. We learned how people with disabilities view numbers differently, view concepts differently and interpret things differently. This program communicated to me a strong sense of humility. It is humbling to have a “normal” perception of numbers and letters and it is humbling to understand how challenging some seemingly simple tasks can be for other people. Through this program I also had the opportunity and the honor to meet the founders and creators of Sunflower Sarah Milner and Laurie Wexler, both inspiring and so humble themselves about the very important work they have done to strengthen our community.
Sunflower Bakery gives so many people an opportunity to be really good at something and to feel good about themselves and to work and have a career. I really love baking especially decorating cakes and cupcakes and Sunflower Bakery combines this with amazing acts of kindness and humility.
For this reason, for my Bat Mitzvah chesed (kindness) project, I chose to help support Sunflower Bakery financially and with something else that I love- art. I asked all of my guests to make contributions to Sunflower Bakery in lieu of presents to me. In addition, one of the projects we will be working on today will be to create a ceramic tile table for Sunflower Bakery. Working with Artware for Good, our designs will be heat transferred onto ceramic for a table.
Sunflower Bakery is an amazing place that strengthens our entire community and gives us yummy desserts, some of which my friends will be taking home today and teaches us all about the importance of humility in our relations with other people especially those who seem different from us.