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Public Bat Mitzvahs Come to Orthodoxy

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/public_bat_mitzvahs_come_to_orthodoxy_20050311

Traditionally, Orthodox girls wanting a bat mitzvah have had intimate ones with close family and friends, complete with candlelightings and blessings. Unlike the Reform, Recostructionist and Conservative movements, which have embraced and formalized the bat mitzvah in the synagogue (the Recostructionist movement had the first bat mitzvah in 1922), Orthodox shuls and schools tend to take a more varied, low-key approach. While many Orthodox girls still have private coming-of-age rituals, others are opting for more public and creative ceremonies, perhaps more closely aligned to a bar mitzvah. Most choose to study extensively with parents, teachers or rebbetzins, and many seek out chesed projects -- acts of loving-kindness -- to help those less fortunate.

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