Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Ritual Committee,
Next year I will have reached the age of my Bat Mitzvah and would like to have it on a Saturday morning.
This means a great deal to me because since women play an important part of every role in Jewish life, why is my part in our temple not equal to a boy’s my age? This service may be strange to tradition for a little while but my question is “Im lo achshav ay ma-tai?” My education is as complete as a boy my age. And knowing that I am an equal makes me want to continue my studies. Knowing I can’t fully participate in any activity, when can I hope to achieve a first class status?
I would greatly appreciate if the Ritual Committee would change this practice and let girls be called to the Torah.
Very Truly Yours,
Sally Gottesman reading the letter she wrote in 1974 to the ritual committee of Temple Shomrei Emunah, requesting a Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah.
Credit: Courtesy of Sally Gottesman.