Palter Family Interview

Up Close and Personal: Dani, Adam, and Sydney Palter

By Monique Gottlieb-- Siblings Dani, Adam, and Sydney Palter are three teens who are determined to make a difference. Their love for Israel, family values, and personal life experiences all play a vital role in shaping their contributions to the Jewish community. These three young role models used their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as an opportunity to contribute to their community in a thoughtful and personal way. They each took something significant from their own life experiences, and transformed it into a charitable act of tzedakah.

When Sydney Palter was 5 weeks old, she was diagnosed with RSV, a potentially fatal virus that attacks the respiratory system. She was cared for in a special sealed incubator – called an isolette – and fortunately the outcome was a happy one. For her Bat Mitzvah last November, she used all of her B’nai Tzedek funds, as well as matching funds she secured, to donate an isolette to a hospital in Nahariya, just outside of Acco, Israel.

Her older brother, Adam, has always had a passion for music. He was determined to share this passion with others, so for his Bar Mitzvah he donated musical instruments to Israel’s leading music conservatory in Acco, Israel. Adam also raised matching funds to provide two scholarships to the conservatory.

In lieu of Bat Mitzvah gifts, Dani, the eldest of the three Palter children, raised funds to build a playground in a low income area in Acco, Israel. “I love little kids,” explains Dani, “so I wanted to do something for them, to give them a place to escape from everything.”

The Palters’ inspiration to help others comes from generations of generosity. Their parents and grandparents have long been active members of the Jewish community. Needless to say, the children have been surrounded with philanthropic ideas their entire lives, like grandfather Paul Morton’s mantra: “With privilege comes responsibility,” and father Gil’s philosophy, “it’s not about how much you have for yourself, but how much you do for others.” Their parents and grandparents are all very proud of their children’s generous contributions to Israel. “They are wonderful children,” beamed grandfather, Harry Palter, “it’s a big sacrifice to make.”

Dani, Adam, and Sydney believe that their donations were worth the sacrifice. “It lasts longer than just getting a necklace or something,” explains Dani, a CHAT student who just returned from the March of the Living trip.

When asked what advice they would give to their peers to encourage them to get involved, Adam explained how important it is to “make it personal.” The Palters were each able to take something significant from their own life experiences, and use it to positively impact the lives of others. The Palters believe that this personalization fosters a strong connection between themselves and their community.

Getting more involved in the process of tikkun olam (repairing the world) takes tzedakah to an entirely new level. Last February, Sydney went on a mission to Ethiopia with her father to bring 126 Ethiopian Jews back to Israel. She learned firsthand how much her efforts could help others, and came face-to- face with the people whose lives she changed forever. The details of her trip our outlined in her blog:

Dani, Adam, And Sydney Palter are three examples of teens who have increased their charitable impact on the world in meaningful ways. Congratulations to them on starting to make a difference in the world at such a young age. Hopefully many others will follow in their footsteps.


Palter family

Adam, Dani, and Sydney (l-r) accepting their B'nai Tzedek plaques with their parents and grandparents



Left to right: Adam, Sydney, Gil, Elisa, and Dani Palter