Upon reaching the age of 12 years and 1 day, Jewish girls become Bat Mitzvah i.e. responsible for observing the mitzvot. It is customary to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah ceremony on a date between the girl’s 12th and 13th birthdays.
Shearith Israel offers a wide variety of frameworks for the Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Some girls choose to participate in a women’s service at the synagogue on a Shabbat morning, at which they read Torah, Haftarah and/or parts of the synagogue service. Others choose to have a Bat Mitzvah ceremony on Shabbat morning, following regular synagogue services, at which the Bat Mitzvah girl reads biblical passages and delivers a talk. Yet others choose to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah at a special ceremony held on Sunday morning. Parents should contact the Rabbi when their daughter reaches the age of eleven, to start discussing the Bat Mitzvah process and the various available options that would be most meaningful to the Bat Mitzvah girl.
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