We have heard from several MM readers that they have chosen to be “Mitzvah’ed” despite being in their 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond. It seems that this is a growing trend…. Kara Woldar is one MM reader who, from experience, would agree. We are thankful to Kara for letting us share her story with you!
For the past two years, Kara Woldar has participated in an adult education program at her synagogue, The Woodbury Jewish Center in Woodbury, NY. The class included 11 women ranging in ages from 20-something to 70-something. These women are educators, executives, doctors, administrators, homemakers and retirees in all various stages of life. The group was “Mitzvah’ed” on May 30, 2009. Congratulations to all!
Here are more details about the experience, in Kara’s own words…
MM: Why did you decide to become a Bat Mitzvah at this point in your life?
CW: It is something I always wanted to do and felt that I was missing something spiritually. I did not attend Hebrew school as a child and I wanted to feel comfortable when attending services. Also, when my daughter Alyssa began Hebrew school several years ago, I was unable to help her with with her homework or answer certain questions. She actually inspired me to do it and along with my husband, they were extremely supportive and very proud. I wanted to be able to be part of and contribute to my children’s Hebrew education. Now I am able to help my younger daughter, Nikki, as she participates in Hebrew school.
MM: We understand this was a class offered through your temple. Can you please give us some information about the program?
CW: The name of the class is simply Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. The class is offerred every two years, and participants study the observance of Jewish holidays and Jewish prayers. It teaches the skills of reading Hebrew and learning a Haftorah portion and culminates in a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Our teacher was Cantor Aaron Cohen, our congregations’s Cantor. He is an amazing man and an extremely patient teacher.
MM: How much time is involved and do you get homework?
CW: It is a big commitment and you must study outside of the hour-long class each week. Four months prior to our Bat Mitzvah date, we met for even longer. We would meet in the sanctuary where we not only practiced our prayers but rehearsed the actual Shabbat morning service. Our homework was to study in between classes and to practice, practice, practice!
MM: Now that you have celebrated your Bat Mitzvah, would you do it all over again?
CW: Absolutely! It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I experienced a sense of accomplishment that cannot be put into words. It is such an amazing feeling to stand in synagogue along side my family and be able to participate. I feel a sense of belonging and a sense that I am part of something that makes me feel so complete and proud. Now I feel that WJC is truly my spiritual home.
Congrats again to Kara, Cantor Aaron Cohen and his entire Bat Mitzvah class! You are all very inspiring!