The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


February 19, 2009

Finally a bat mitzvah!

In Beachwood, Ohio, 10 women are rehearsing for their bat mitzvah. “One by one, some with walkers, some on oxygen, approached the podium to recite Jewish prayers,” was the Religion News Service story description.

You see, the 10 women are between the ages of 89 and 96. They’re getting ready for the coming of age ritual usually reserved for 12-year-old girls. But when these women were 12, only boys had such celebrations.

The women are residents of a Jewish independent living facility. “It’s the oldest bat mitzvah group, I would venture to say, in the entire country,” said Rabbi Howard Kutner.

It reminds me of the story “Finally a Lutheran—Take it from Dorothy: You’re never too old for confirmation.” Dorothy Prindle at age 93 confirmed her faith on Reformation Sunday 2004 in a Grand Rapids, Mich., senior care center. My colleague Mike Watson and I visited Dorothy and found her a delight.

Mintzi Agin, 89; Evelyn Bonder, 90; Millie Danzinger Fromet, 90; Fay Kadis, 94; Mollie Kravitz, 96; Eva Rosenberg, 91; Rosella Rosenberg, 90; Ann Simon, 93; Belva Singer, 91; and Flo Wish, 91, confirm “their faith” on March 22—in both Hebrew and English, followed by a party for 200.

“Following the ceremony, the women will leave the synagogue in a procession, accompanied by music,” according to RNS.

“We’ll be going out in style,” Danzinger Fromet said.

“Yes,” added Agin. “With our walkers.”

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