Bat Mitzvah at 100

2022 marks the centennial of the first public bat mitzvah ceremony in the United States. JWA, along with SAJ: Judaism That Stands for All, invites Jewish women of all backgrounds to use this question set to reflect on and share their own bat mitzvah experiences and preserve them for the historical record.

Tips for recording your story using Story Aperture.

Questions:

  • Describe your bat mitzvah: How old were you? Where and when did it take place (name of congregation, denomination, city/state, country, year, day of week)? 
  • Why did you have a bat mitzvah?
  • What elements did your bat mitzvah include? (For example: aliyah, Torah reading, d’var Torah, kiddush, party, trip…)
  • Was there anything about your bat mitzvah that was new or different from your community’s typical b’nai mitzvah? If so, how did your community respond? 
  • What stands out to you in your memory about your bat mitzvah?
  • What did your bat mitzvah mean to you?

Download the app to record and share a story, or type and submit a story in the fields below.

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I wish to place the following restrictions on my submission (check all that apply):
  • I have the narrator’s permission to share her story;
  • I am at least 18 years of age, or if I am under 18 years of age, I have reviewed JWA’s Terms of Use with my parent or legal guardian and I have my parent or legal guardian’s permission to submit my story to JWA;
  • The information I am submitting is, to the best of my knowledge, truthful, accurate, and not misleading;
  • JWA reserves the right to share your submission and contact information with scholars for research purposes; and
  • I have read and agree to JWA’s Terms of Use.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Bat Mitzvah at 100." (Viewed on January 28, 2023) <https://jwa.org/stories/batmitzvah-at-100>.

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