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Finding Her Right Place in the Synagogue: The Rite of Adult Bat Mitzvah

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Publication Date: January 2007

Author(s): Lisa D. Grant

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Culture and religion (Calendars, special days, and ceremonies)

Keywords: American Jews; Adult education; Gender

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


How can we understand the adult bat-mitzvah phenomenon in the context of ritual innovation and change? What are the elements of this ritual? Why is it so meaningful for the participants? What impact are the women 'graduates' of adult bat-mitzvah programs having on ritual life and practice in their synagogues? What are the implications of these changes for Jewish life in America? This chapter addresses these questions by building on the existing literature and adding new voices to the stories of women who choose this path of Jewish learning and observance.