According to Airbnb.com, In the past two weeks, they have received more than $5.2 million in small-dollar, direct donations from a total of more than 59,000 individual donors across 92 countries. Airbnb and its founders have contributed $17 million so far to Airbnb.org to help cover costs associated with providing stays for refugees fleeing Ukraine, and Airbnb employees have donated a total of more than $625,000 to support Airbnb.org’s effort as well as other nonprofits working on the ground in Ukraine.
My online bar mitzvah student spoke about his mitzvah project at his bar mitzvah ceremony recently. He shared that Airbnb and Airbnb.org announced that Airbnb.org will offer free, short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine. These stays will be funded by Airbnb, Inc., donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, and the generosity of Hosts through Airbnb.org.
Today, to further support Airbnb.org’s important work, Airbnb’s co-founders – Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and his wife Elizabeth — are personally committing to match up to $10 million in donations to the organization, beginning today through March 31, 2022.
My student felt that it was really important for him to do his part to help the suffering of poor innocent civilians in Ukraine and those who are fleeing to escape oppression and possible death.
My student learned with me that a bar mitzvah is so much more than learning to sing your lines of Torah proficiently. It’s also about making an impact in the world. Being a change maker and influencing others to do their part or perform Tikun Olam – helping to make the world a better place.
So not only did my student learn to sing exceptionally well, he learned that he is motivated to extend himself to end suffering in the world and improve the lives of those who need help and support. What a wonderful lesson to learn at 13. Have you helped or wanted to help those suffering in Ukraine ? I would love to hear about it.