Motivations for Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Although not associated with puberty, this rite represents a spiritual "coming of age" for adult Jews.

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Susan called the enormous turnout at her bat mitzvah "truly a community celebration." But just as important, she said, the ceremony didn't represent the end of a path, but a milestone in her journey as a learner. "The class served as a wonderful overview of this religion, but it's only the tip of the iceberg," she told the congregation from the bimah. "My education has just begun."


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Ellen Jaffe-Gill

Ellen Jaffe Gill is the author of Embracing the Stranger (Basic Books).