March 14, 2012
Whether you celebrated in 1922 or 2012, we want to hear your most vivid bat mitzvah memory. Did you take a tumble carrying the Torah? Get a kiss from the cutest boy in your class? Or break into a nervous sweat while on the bimah? Please e-mail your story in fewer than 150 words (include full name, town, and the year of your bat mitzvah) by Monday to firstname.lastname@example.org , and we may include it in a story about the 90th anniversary of this rite of passage.
March 25, 2015
THIS WEEKEND we went to a bat mitzvah. For many black families, this peek into Jewish tradition is culture shock. For the Joneses? It's old hat. We've been to so many bat mitzvahs that LaVeta is starting to hum along to the tunes. Little Solomon has started checking out the young men's yarmulkes. And Eve? Well, she's 13, so she's eyeing the bat mitzvah benefits. Having been to three bat mitzvahs so far, Eve has come to understand that girls her age who become "bat mitzvah" have the same rights as adults, are morally responsible for their actions and, best of all, get lots and lots of stuff.
March 28, 2012
In celebration of the bat mitzvah's 90th anniversary this year, we asked readers for their memories, and we got a heap. We heard from women ranging in age from 88 to 14, with bat mitzvahs dating from 1953 to 2011. Some were funny, others poignant, a few regretful, many joyful. To all our readers who shared, thank you (and mazel tov!) Back in 1970, girls were relegated to second-class status. We conducted the Friday night service, but there was no Saturday Torah reading for us. That was OK, but I was exceedingly jealous of my male counterparts who got lavish Saturday evening parties - with live bands!
March 28, 2012 |
It was a simple walk from her seat to the front of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a New York City synagogue. But when 12-year-old Judith Kaplan was summoned by her rabbi father to read from her Bible and recite some blessings, the act was revolutionary. On a March Saturday in 1922, two years after women in America got the right to vote, Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan broke tradition. He had, in essence, held a coming-of-age ceremony for his daughter, what boys at 13 had celebrated for centuries.
May 5, 1993 |
You're never too old for a rite of passage. Just ask the nine women in their 80s and 90s who, in a ceremony Saturday in Media, celebrated their bat mitzvah. Bat mitzvah, translated as daughter of the commandments, and bar mitzvah, son of the commandments, "means that at the age of 12 or 13 every Jewish person becomes obligated to follow Jewish law," said Rabbi Leah Wald Zollman, chaplain at Martins Run Life Care Community, where the special bat mitzvah was held. "Everyone does that whether or not they have a ceremony.
January 18, 2002 |
fired a military assault rifle on a banquet hall full of children and adults in the northern Israeli city of Hadera late yesterday, leaving six partygoers dead and 30 wounded. Police killed the attacker. A militant group attached to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement said it carried out the attack. An Israeli government spokesman said Israel would "teach the Palestinian Authority a lesson they will not forget. " Perhaps for starters, Israeli aircraft today attacked a Palestinian security headquarters in the West Bank city of Tulkarm.
April 24, 1998 |
If not for a brave boy and a miraculous computer, there might be no bat mitzvah for Leah Zatuchni. Virtually from birth 13 years ago, the Wynnewood girl has suffered from a brain disorder called mitochondrial myopathy that impedes the flow of oxygen to her muscles. She can neither walk nor talk - nor, as logic would have it, participate in the Jewish service marking her entry into womanhood. But that is not how Eugene Chernyakhofsky would have had it. A Northeast Philadelphia teenager with cerebral palsy, he took part in his bar mitzvah on May 3, 1992, with the aid of a computer, manipulating a joystick with his foot to produce the required words, songs and chants.
January 3, 1997 |
Barry Cohen doesn't wear his heart just on his sleeve. He wears it on billboards so the entire Delaware Valley can see it. His latest outpouring can be seen on southbound I-95 between Allegheny and Girard avenues: a happy bat mitzvah wish for his daughter, Robyn, complete with a huge likeness of the 13-year-old. Robyn and about 50 of her friends will see it tomorrow as their chartered bus rolls down I-95 from the Cohens' synagogue in Newtown, Bucks County, for the post-bat mitzvah celebration at Colleen's restaurant in Center City.
May 25, 1994 |
Some guests received an invitation to Joe Grinenko's bar mitzvah. Some received an invitation to Lisa Goldstein's bat mitzvah. Others found both invitations in the same envelope, with a single reply card. Next month, a joint bar/bat mitzvah at Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell will mark Lisa's and Joe's coming of age in the Jewish religion. During the first half of the Friday night service, Lisa will lead the congregation in prayer; then Joe will take over. The next morning, Lisa will chant the first half of their Torah portion; Joe will chant the latter part.