Adult Bat Mitzvah as Entrée Into Jewish Life for North American Jewish Women


Publication Date: January 2002

Publisher: Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women

Author(s): Beth Cousens

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: American Jews; Adult education

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This paper covers the evolution of the North American Adult Bat Mitzvah phenomenon and reviews the formats of adult bat mitzvah preparation. The motivations and experiences of Adult Bat Mitzvah are presented from the research findings, drawing on quotes from interviews with respondents. The respondents' experiences of overcoming negative feelings form a large part of this study. Respondents describe the phenomenon of learning as "Jewish Mastery" and label the ceremony as a "transformative event". The impact of the Adult Bat Mitzvah, according to these respondents, is a feeling of inclusion and a commitment to involvement.