First Bat Mitzvah revisited at Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 25 June 2017
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Thursday 6th July 2017

Take a group of 7 ladies and give them a challenge: give them an inspiring teacher and the gift of learning, and what do you have? Bat Mitzvah Revisited!

As a group who, for different reasons - although the main one being that it just wasn’t the “done” thing – didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah at 12 - we decided to embark on “Our Jewish Journey” and learn Torah together and have a group celebration on 25th June. The group ranged in age from early 40’s to mid 70’s.

Our Rebbetzen, Nechama Davis, gave a 9-part course covering topics which we all found very interesting and inspiring, and along with the fabulous organisational skills of Karen Treep, one of our group, we put together an afternoon ceremony. Each of us delivered a D’var Torah on something meaningful to us, be it a link with our past, or our Parasha, or our Hebrew name.  Each of us invited a small handful of family and friends and we continued our celebration with a Tea and live music by the professional pianist, David Silkoff.

This Bat Mitzvah didn’t involve sparkly dresses and converse, photo booths or DJ’s; instead, it was friendship, guidance and a wonderful trip into our past, history and the meaning of  Torah.

I can honestly say it was a real privilege getting to know the other ladies and hearing and sharing their stories, and this experience will certainly be one I will always remember.

Denise Manoff, on behalf of Karen Treep, Sylvia Murray, Marylin Graham, Pam Murkoff, Melissa Schapira and Ilana Heilbrunn.

Chairman Lindsay Shure said: “Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue is honoured to have hosted such a wonderful and moving event. All credit to the ladies taking part and their teacher, Rebbetzen Nechamah Davis who worked so hard to put this programme together. Mazal Tov to all.”

Rebbetzen Nechama Davis added: “The Batmitzvah Revisited - My Jewish Journey course was an exciting spiritual and social journey. Each Woman also gave an amazing and inspiring speech at the final celebration, which was a milestone and accomplishment.”

PHOTOS CREDIT: Andrew H Williams