Published On: Thu, Apr 21st, 2016

N.Y bar mitzvah boy Noah Helfstein today unveiled Israel’s first-ever, portable high-tech innovation lab to Israeli children

Noah Helfstein donates $76, 000 for the first-ever Maker Bus through UJA-Federation of New York’s ‘Give a Mitzvah-Do a Mitzvah’ program

The Helfstein family in front of the first-ever “Maker Bus,  ” which they unveiled today at Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher.


At a special ceremony at Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher today, New York City bar mitzvah boy Noah Helfstein unveiled Israel’s first-ever, portable high-tech innovation lab that will bring do-it-yourself technology to less fortunate Israeli children. Noah, 13, who attends the 7th grade at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, worked with UJA-Federation of New York’s “Give a Mitzvah-Do a Mitzvah” program to support this project because of his own interest in 3D printing and educational technology.

Noah’s $76, 000 in bar mitzvah gift money funded the first-ever “Maker Bus” – a specially renovated, full-size bus outfitted with innovative technologies and educational tools that enable “making, ” or “self-manufacturing” and “Do-It-Yourself (DIY)” technology including 3D printing.

The Maker Bus will offer regular weekly courses as well as one-time workshops, and is aimed at vulnerable students ages 8 -15, including ultra-religious Jews and Arab students who reside in outlying, less affluent communities in Israel’s north and south.

Noah’s parents, Stacy and Jason Helfstein, his younger sister, Talia, and family friends joined him today for a special dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at Gan Sacher, Jerusalem, where the Maker Bus was officially presented for the first time.

“The Give a Mitzvah-Do a Mitzvah program of UJA-Federation enables bar and bat mitzvah students like Noah to put their interests and love for Israel and the Jewish people into action, ” said Lori Strouch Kolinsky, director of the Manhattan division of UJA-Federation. “We are all so inspired by Noah and his incredible project, which will bring technology education to young Israelis and strengthen the relationship between New York’s Jewish community and Israel.”

“Given my passion for new technology, I chose this project because I would like to give disadvantaged children in Israel the opportunity to interact with new technology. I’m grateful to my family and friends for supporting my project and I’m excited to see the Maker Bus, ” said Noah. His parents added: “We are so proud of Noah for choosing this bar mitzvah project and wanting to help disadvantaged children have access to 3D printing and other new technology that Noah enjoys using himself.”


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