By Cheryl Conway
There is new club in town that is preparing girls to becoming a bat mitzva.
The Bat Mitzva Club is being offered to girls, ages 10 through 12. Sponsored by the Chabad of Randolph, the club began this past September and runs through June.
Club members gather on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to noon to get ready for the “biggest day of her childhood, the first day of adulthood,” explains Chava Bekhor, rabbi’s wife and director of programming at the Chabad of Randolph.
Bat mitzva is “the age every Jewish girl dreams to be,” says Bekhor, who teaches the program. Becoming a bat mitzva girl takes preparation, work and a bit of guidance.” At the bat mitzva club girls “learn about the importance of being a bat mitzva, the unique mitzvot that are now yours, through crafts, interactive games, trips, and more fun!”
Girls in middle school, typically grades fifth through seventh, who join the club are “learning fun things, go on trips and do crafts,” says Shlomit Koval, youth director. There is no limit to the number of girls who join, whether they are from Randolph or surrounding areas.
“We want to give the girls a sense of empowerment,” says Koval, “to understand their role and they are the center of their family. We want to show them they do have a huge role in their future and their Judaism as a whole; their role in society; their role in family; their role in the community.”
Students who attend Hebrew school, particularly girls, do not typically continue with Hebrew school after they become a bar or bat mitzva, explains Koval. “Their Judaism is left up to them.”
The club reinforces to the girls “the important role” that they play in their Jewish life; “want to empower them that there is more. To take the Judaism and all you learned these past years and take it with you in your life as you grow older and start a family.”
This club is catered to just the girls, adds Koval, so they can learn “what it means for them to be a Jewish woman. We give them the basic information. They’ll learn the Hebrew reading and speech.” Individual tutoring may still be needed to prepare individual speeches, she adds.
Some of the trips have included Color Me Mine in Randolph, a pottery place to make candlesticks; Glassworks Studio in Morristown to make mezuza cases; the Jewish community in Monsey, N.Y. with all of its Kosher stores; trips that give girls ideas for their mitzva project or pertain to Jewish lifestyle; Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, N.Y., for interactive hands-on activities that relate to the Jewish experience.
Girls can still sign up at randolphjewish.com/bmc. The cost for registering is $950.