Bat Mitzvah

A Jewish girl’s guide to a bat mitzvah project

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Alexandra Kukoff

I felt overwhelmed when deciding what to do for a bat mitzvah project.

Bat Mitzvah: A Balancing Act

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MBMS girl logo

A few months back, I dragged my 12-year-old, Harry-Potter-enthusiast sister to go with me to see the new Disney princess movie Tangled (which retells the Rapunzel story). In one part of the film, Rapunzel has just escaped from the tower against her mother's wishes and is encountering the World, and her independence, for the first time. (Watch the clip here.) While her companion patiently waits for her to come to terms with her new-found freedom, Rapunzel goes from one extreme to the other, from excitement to shame and worry.

Mid-May link roundup

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Women reading Torah: Empowerment in Photos

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Earlier this week, a post on The Sisterhood blog (with whom JWA regularly cross-posts) publicized a call from Women of the Wall for photographs of women with Torahs as part of a solidarity movement with WOW, who have been subject to harassment and arrest over the past several months in their attempts to hold egalitarian Rosh Chodesh services at Robinson’s Arch in Jerusalem.

Finding Women's Empowerment in Jewish Literacy

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I’ve been thinking a lot about literacy lately. Maybe it’s because I’m working for a children’s book company this summer or maybe it’s because I am now open to seeing the holes in my own literacy. Of course, when I think of literacy, I tend to associate it with Judaism because that is where many of my holes originate.

Kagan and bat mitzvah innovation

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I've been loving the coverage of Elena Kagan's youthful challenge of her rabbi over her right to have a bat mitzvah. I love it because it confirms what I've always believed -- that the chutzpah of young girls is not just pre-teen attitude but a sign of inner strength and a harbinger of great things to come (and I say this not only in a self-serving way as a former obnoxious girl-child or as the mother of a burgeoning one).

A few Friday links

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Have you seen any other interesting posts or articles this week? Share them in the comments!

From the Supreme Court short list to mother-daughter body issues - Link Roundup

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  • In a response to this New York Times piece, Elissa Strauss tackles the Jewish relationship to body hair and hair removal. [Sisterhood]
  • For Elana Kagan and Judge Diane Wood, the two "Jewesses with attitude" on Obama's Supreme Court short list, their pro-gay and pro-choice politics will be the focus of media vetting.

Expanding Bat Mitzvah

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Bat Mitzvah 1 - still image [media]

On this day in 1922, Judith Kaplan--daughter of Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism--was called to the Torah in what is known as the first bat mitzvah ceremony in America.

'Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos', Orthodox cops, and confusing the goyim - Link Roundup Aug 25, 2009

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Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning. I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

  • Six women, ages 79-100, became Bat Mitzvah in Charlotte, NC. Mazel Tov! [WCNC]
  • In preparation for the High Holidays, Women's Lens gives you 'The Bluffer's Guide to Going to Shul.' [Women's Lens]
  • "Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos" performed at the Out of Doors festival [The Forward]
  • Russian language website for Jewish women launched [JTA]
  • Memories of Molly Picon [The Forward]

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