bat mitzvah

Marking A Special Bat Mitzvah In Queens

05/07/2014
Staff Writer
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In a twist on the traditional pre-bat mitzvah volunteer project, several dozen mothers and daughters will gather Sunday morning to do a chesed project in honor of a girl who will not be able to attend, or take part in, her own bat mitzvah ceremony.

Amid Marathon Bombings, A Girl With Down Syndrome Becomes A Bat Mitzvah

Last week's Torah reading consisted of two parshiot: Acharei Mot ("After the Death") and Kedoshim ("Holy Ones"). I cannot but think that these passages perfectly encapsulated the events last week.

Ashley preparing for her Bat Mitzvah. Photo courtesy Gateways

Let's Disagree, But Not Dismiss

The end of 2012 saw an increase in arrests of women at the Western Wall who demand the right to pray there in groups, out loud and wearing prayer shawls and tefilin.

Visitors to the Western Wall leave written prayers as well. Getty Images

Meet Mazel: The B'nai Mitzvah Magazine

12/17/2012
Associate Editor

The 21st century’s bar mitzvah year, 2013, is almost here and b’nai mitzvah talk seems to be everywhere.

Mazel Magazine maintains the party is the most important aspect of b'nai mitzvah. Photo courtesy Mazel Magazine

B'nai Mitzvah: A Revolution, Not A Graduation

11/28/2012
Associate Editor

From the Russian to the Chinese to the Sexual to, most recently, an eponymous sci-fi post-apocalyptic TV series, the past century has witnessed its share of revolutions.

Now, with just a bit less tumult (one hopes) comes B’nai Mitzvah Revolution, a Reform Movement pilot initiative to “radically rethink” the Jewish rite of passage and its place in synagogue life and education.

The Reform Movement wants to recast the b'nai mitzvah, which is often viewed as a graduation from Judaism. Getty Images

How The Bat Mitzvah Has Changed: A Grandmother Reflects

02/08/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

At my daughter’s bat mitzvah celebration on Oct. 31, 1981, I was nervous, excited, joyful and awed at the sight of a 12-year old girl standing on the bima of our Conservative synagogue, reading a large section of the Torah portion from its scroll, then chanting her haftarah.

Bar Mitzvah Lessons in Cyberspace

Why shlepp your kid to the synagogue for her bat mitzvah lessons when she can dial in virtually?

A recent article in the New York Times shows how the tech savvy bar mitzvah tutors have taken to the Web to make the process more convenient for them and their students.

What will traditionalists make of Jewish kids getting their bar mitzvah lessons online?

The Virtual Simcha

The first time I heard about a "virtual simcha" was in the late 1990s. Detroit was hit with a massive snowstorm and the 8-day old baby boy's aunt who was to play the role of rabbi was stuck at the airport in New York. The rabbi improvised and she officiated at her nephew's bris via speaker phone.

Of course, if this happened in 2010 and not in the late 1990s the bris would have been officiated by the rabbi through Skype, and she would have seen the simcha and been seen by the attendees.

Using technology to add people to a simcha is becoming more common. An increasing number of grandparents and great-grandparents are attending their grandchildren's wedding in the virtual world.

Just last month I officiated at a wedding that was being streamed live to Israel so that the bride's elderly grandparents could "be there." Through Ustream.tv, the grandparents felt like they were at the wedding even if it meant staying up late into the night in Israel.

 

Live Streaming Wedding Allows Relatives in Israel to "Attend"

Exercising Their Goodness

Two bat mitzvah projects hit close to home for a couple of local teens, and help kids here and in Israel.

07/23/2008
Editorial Intern

He was a distant cousin — literally; he 6,000 miles away in Israel, she on the Upper East Side.
But Katy Mayerson, 13, had grown close to Noam Mayerson over her many trips to Israel to see family.
“I really, really liked him and everybody liked him,” Katy said of her cousin. “I don’t know one person who didn’t — he was really smart and nice and loving, and there wasn’t really any bad aspect about him.”

Katy Mayerson was able to see her bat mitzvah project come to life.

Mom's Bat Mitzvah

In a group ceremony, women enjoy a belated, but gratifying, rite of passage.

06/18/2008
Editorial Intern
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Bonnie Panzok is just trying to catch up with her children.

When Panzok sent her kids to Jewish day school to get the education she never got, she watched as their knowledge grew exponentially and surpassed her own. But now, Panzok, after a crash course in Jewish history and rituals, has soared ahead, filling in the gaps in her own Jewish learning.

Sixteen women from Temple Gates of Prayer in Flushing studied together for two years in preparation for their b’not mitzvah.
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