May 30, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 30, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Programming at JKHA Adds Meaning to Bat Mitzvah Celebrations

JKHA sixth grade girls had the opportunity to participate in a week-long bat mitzvah program. This multi-faceted program was geared to helping the students understand the religious and personal significance of becoming a bat mitzvah, and to understand their enhanced role as full-fledged members of the larger Jewish community.

The program launched with a thought provoking activity and discussion centered on the personal and religious foundations that each girl has received from home, and the roles of other influences such as school, role models, peers, camp and the media in shaping their identities.

The students had the opportunity to hear from dynamic and inspirational female role models in the community: Rebbetzin Lea Marcus, of Congregation Israel, and Rebbetzin Sarah Klibanoff, of Congregation Etz Chaim, each discussed the significance of becoming a bat mitzvah with the girls. The girls were engaged by their stimulating presentations, discussing both their professional roles and their roles as rebbetzins in their respective communities. Rebbetzin Sharon Zwickler, from Congregation AABJ&D, introduced the Women in Tanach session and spoke about female role models. The sixth graders then participated in an in-depth study of women in Tanach, and the lessons that can be gleaned from each of these role models. In Ivrit class the students had the opportunity to write about their personal role models in hebrew.

In preparation for celebrating bat mitzvahs, Denah Emerson, a dance instructor, came in and taught the girls simcha dancing. The girls not only reviewed popular dances, but also learned about and practiced proper dancing decorum. In addition, Rabbi Sukenik reviewed behavioral expectations during shul and at parties.

The girls also created a beautiful “inspiration board” keepsake from the week. This collage is made up of words and pictures that depict all of the lessons they learned this week and that relate to the theme of becoming a bat mitzvah. The girls will be able to hang up their boards in their rooms, and will be able to look at it as a reminder of their goals and values.

The program was capped off by a visit from Yachad, and the girls had an opportunity to truly feel like contributing members of the larger Jewish community by engaging in a meaningful chesed activity with the Yachad girls. It was rewarding to watch the sixth graders interacting during the Olympics and lunch with such sensitivity and warmth.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles