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Home » Bar & Bat Mitzvah » When Do We Become ‘Women?” by Elissa Strauss with comments by MIriam Brosseau

When Do We Become ‘Women?” by Elissa Strauss with comments by MIriam Brosseau

Miriam Brosseau comments:

Since the next Jewish Futures conference has to do with the future of the bar/bat mitzvah, thought I would put this article out for y’all to take a look at. The author is talking about the terminology used to refer to grown female humans – woman vs. lady vs. gal, etc. – and the impact of the “extended adolescence” on one’s sense of self. She then adds this short bit about Bat Mitzvah:

“And this is where I return to the Bat Mitzvah. When observed, in one form or another, it allows us to present the identity of “woman” in a more positive tone. “Glee” themed parties and botched haftorah portions aside, this type of institutionalized rite of passage links becoming an adult to being part of a system and community in which your actions matter. The reason it works, and comes off as positive, is that the rules are clear. We know what “woman” means in this context.”

Do you agree? Does the American-style Bat Mitzvah strike the perfect balance for the term “woman” because it brings in both playful and serious elements? Chime in with any thoughts!

Miriam Brosseau is Associate Director of Network Initiatives at The Jewish Education Project.

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