The 2017 Bat Mitzvah program for mothers and daughters, led by Tamar Gur, began with six pairs of mothers and daughters who chose to make their Bat Mitzvah year more meaningful. In their first meeting, they discussed the process of growing up and maturing, and why the age 12 was chosen as a developmental signpost. The second meeting was all about the significant relationship between mother and daughter.
The lovely group of mothers and daughters came together and continued with great enthusiasm. The group became more cohesive and warm, while undergoing significant personal processes. Further meetings dealt with body image and the way it is created for us, as women and girls, the “right” way to look and behave. The group examined the way they construct their body image, how to learn to love one’s self and one’s body. A very special meeting was at a synagogue, focusing on ceremonies and rituals. They learned how the Bat Mitzvah ceremony evolved and how to empower women’s place in Judaism. The participants learned about each one’s Torah portion, and became familiar with the Torah itself. It was a moving and significant experience of discovery and a first for the mothers and daughters to find out that they too have a place in the synagogue, and can partake in the rituals.
In the final meetings of the mother- daughter Bat Mitzvah program the focus was on how to continue the open and frank communication that had developed throughout the program. The program ended with a hike in the area, followed by a lovely hamper picnic and a memorable ceremony.
The mothers and daughters summarized the program as the most significant thing they had done this scholastic year, touching upon the connection they had made, learning to see facets of each other they had not known before. The significant quality time they had, facilitated a renewed introduction to Judaism, as they had never experienced it before.