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Bat Mitzvah

When Do We Become 'Women?'

When do you become a woman? As in, someone that your friend or colleague actually refers to as a “woman.” It is is certainly not after your Bat Mitzvah (will get back to that later), nor is it when you graduate from high school, or even college.

The Power of the Bat Mitzvah

When I was brought on board at the Lev LaLev Fund in May 2011, I was asked if I could run the bat mitzvah project program. I thought, sure, how hard could it be? I was once a bat mitzvah girl too after all. Yet, a year later, as I was writing about the 15th anniversary of my own bat mitzvah in my e-newsletter to the bat mitzvah girls, I finally realized just how much had changed in that short amount of time.

Judith Kaplan Eisenstein

The first American girl to publically celebrate a bat mitzvah, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein went on to become a Jewish educator, composer, and musicologist.

Sally Gottesman

As a teenager, Sally Gottesman lobbied for the first Saturday morning bat mitzvah at her synagogue; as an adult, she created groups for teens of both genders to discover a deeper connection to Judaism.

Sally Gottesman

Sally Gottesman’s bat mitzvah experience influenced almost all areas of her adult life – it made her believe that change was possible in the Jewish community, and today she is a management consultant to not-for-profit organizations, working primarily in the Jewish community with organizations such as American Jewish World Service, Tzedek Hillel, and The Hebrew Free Loan Society.

Taking Risks, Making Change: Bat Mitzvah and Other Evolving Traditions

Today, the Bat Mitzvah may seem like a routine aspect of a young girl's Jewish life. But less than 100 years ago, no public ceremony existed to mark a girl's coming of age, and over the past century, what a "Bat Mitzvah" looks like has continually shifted. This Go & Learn guide uses the letters from one girl's campaign to have the first Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah in her congregation as a case study for exploring how we confront controversial issues and make change in our communities.

Wrestling with God and Jewish Tradition

The biblical figure of Jacob is also called Israel, the one who wrestled with God (Genesis 35:10). As the "Children of Israel," the Jewish community has carried on this legacy of wrestling with God and tradition in our attempts to create meaning in our lives. This Go & Learn guide uses the artwork of the Jewish feminist artist Helène Aylon to explore how we—as individuals and as a community—grapple with ideas about God and Jewish tradition.

Rebecca Lubetkin's 60th Bat Mitz-versary

“It’s funny how practices that seem way out in one generation become so commonplace in another that people wonder what took so long.

The story of creation: Artist Miriam Karp on making her daughter's bat mitzvah tallit

Miriam Karp is an artist who has been creating hundreds of one-of-a-kind ketubot since 1976.

My "out of this world" bat mitzvah

My bat mitzvah party theme was outer space. Each of the tables were named after the nine planets in the solar system at the time: Mercury, Venus, Mars.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Bat Mitzvah." (Viewed on July 28, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/bat-mitzvah>.

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