Your little tot is now not only a teenager, but also preparing for a critical Jewish rite of passage—and you’ve spent too much time feeling sentimental, or planning the party, to remember a gift for the bar or bat mitzvah. But don’t sweat the small stuff: JNS.org has plenty of gifts that are a little less kosher and a lot more fun than the typical envelope filled with multiples of 18.
In the 90 years since Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s oldest daughter, Judith, became the first American girl to mark her Jewish coming-of-age in a synagogue, the bat mitzvah celebration has become an accepted practice. A current museum exhibit showcases a collection of personal stories on this tradition, which progressed parallel to the American feminist movement.
Drawing from the personal experience of her synagogue’s granting a policy change request, Sally Gottesman works to be an agent of change for bar and bat mitzvah practices.