November 12, 2000 |
Annette and Marty Cohen have shared many events in their 61 years of marriage, and on Saturday night they will celebrate a joyous occasion when Marty, 83, and Annette, 83, are called to the Torah for their bar and bat mitzvahs. In the Jewish religion, a bar or bat mitzvah is observed as a coming-of-age ritual, when children are expected to observe the commandments. Usually it takes place when a child is 13, and that's when Marty Cohen first went through the rite. But for Annette Cohen, raised in a strict Orthodox home, this will be her first time.
March 5, 1992 |
She stood in front of the men of the congregation, a chubby 12 1/2-year-old girl with straw-blond hair and brilliant blue eyes. She wore a pink silk dress her mother had made. The girl read aloud in Hebrew and English a passage from the Bible, which she held in her own steady hands. Her father, a goateed rabbi, listened intently from his perch on the bima, or platform. The girl's mother, two grandmothers and three sisters watched from the back of the synagogue. It was a Sabbath service in March 1922, at the newly founded Society for the Advancement of Judaism on 41 W. 86th St. in New York City.
October 23, 2014 |
Rabbi Deborah Waxman leafed through her mail before unwrapping a small orange, the punch line to a fabled Jewish myth. As it went, a rabbi once teased that a woman rabbi was like an orange on a ceremonial seder plate used during Passover. Neither belonged. The orange was a sly affirmation from a friend, mailed to Waxman as a symbol of the history she made by becoming the first woman and the first lesbian to lead a major movement of Judaism. Waxman, 47, took over in January as head of the Reconstructionist movement and president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, the movement's seminary.
May 29, 2000 |
Congregation Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras Israel, a converted rowhouse synagogue in South Philadelphia, is among the last of its kind - perhaps the very last in the city - and yet it has now celebrated a first. The 200-year-old building, with pressed tin walls and frosted windows, has held many bar mitzvahs and has long adhered to the Orthodox tradition of separating male and female worshipers. Yesterday, the synagogue at Fourth Street and Snyder Avenue embraced its first bat mitzvah, as 13-year-old Alexandra Nessa Berg crossed into religious adulthood.
September 13, 1994 |
In a traditional Jewish ceremony marking her passage from childhood to maturity, Mary Gibbs became a woman yesterday - one week before her 82d birthday. Seated in her wheelchair before dozens of friends and fellow residents at the Golden Slipper Uptown Home in Northeast Philadelphia, Gibbs belatedly celebrated her growth into Jewish womanhood with the first and only Bat Mitzvah service held at the senior facility. "When I was a girl, there were no Bat Mitzvahs," said Gibbs after the ceremony, in which she was called to read Scripture, give a short address, and kiss the Torah in symbolic acceptance of Jewish law. "I decided it was time to do something different.
June 29, 2007 |
The former treasurer of a Plymouth Township ambulance service, who admitted to plundering $2.2 million from the nonprofit company, was sentenced yesterday to 5 to 20 years in jail. In addition, County Court Judge William Carpenter ordered Harvey S. Grossman, 48, to make $2.1 million in restitution to the Plymouth Community Ambulance Association. The stiff jail term was unexpected, said Grossman's attorney, Francis J. Genovese. "He's stunned," Genovese said yesterday. "I think his main concern is letting his family know what happened.
June 16, 2008
I AM THE DAUGHTER of a Holocaust survivor. Twenty-five years ago, I began to date a man whose middle name is Adolph (as in Adolf Hitler). We have been happily married for 22 years. In fact, we celebrated our son's bar mitzvah last year, with my "Adolph" proudly participating, even though he is not Jewish. We'll do it again next year with our daughter's bat mitzvah. The notion that my husband's middle name would hide the fact that he is an anti-Semite looking to rid the world of Jews is absolutely ridiculous.
January 15, 2003 |
I have often questioned the wisdom of Judaism's standard that age 13 is the appropriate milestone for a Jewish child to become an adult. Until, that is, I watched my daughter during her recent bat mitzvah. This is precisely the time when teenagers' hormones rage, voices strain to find their proper pitch, and young bodies grow from gangly and awkward to lean and shapely, seemingly before our eyes. Beyond physical changes, 13-year-olds are discovering a broader world while trying to figure out how, and where, they fit in. Somehow, in spite of (or maybe due to)
April 10, 1998 |
They talk and smile, smile and talk, sometimes completing each other's sentences, smoothing over a legacy of enmity and mistrust as furrowed as the matzo Jews will eat tonight. They are teenagers, the girl lithe, auburn-haired in a certain light, sandy-colored in another, the boy pulling down the visor of his new Nike cap and holding a catcher's mitt because he loves baseball. They are friends. Some might see their story as oddly fitting for the Jewish holiday of Passover, with its themes of freedom and hope.
September 24, 2008 |
When she was 90, Frieda Cohen Freedman taught her last student, reading children's poetry from the time of the Holocaust. The student was a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, studying for her bat mitzvah. On Monday, Mrs. Freedman, 92, a Hebrew school teacher for decades, died of pneumonia at the Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, where she lived. "There were a lot of people she touched when they were children and now are grandparents," said her son, Allan.