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Life   Cycle  /  Special   Services
Jenae's Bat Mitzvah  •   Renee & Michael's Wedding Renewal (coming soon)

Jenae's Bat Mitzvah, May 28, 2011


A little more than a year ago, I decided to become a Bat Mitzvah. When I was 12, I was not ready. Like many of my TAO friends, I found Community and my Jewish soul through TAO. In fact, when I realized my beliefs existed in Judaism (and then realized I was born Jewish for a reason), TAO's way helped me find "life". My Bat Mitzvah, 40 years later than common, is my celebration and commemoration of my Jewish soul and my Jewish connection. It was more than I could imagined it could be (and my imagination's pretty vivid!) From the wonderful family time starting Shabbos before my Bat Mitzvah until tearful partings when I dropped my relatives off at the airport, every second was priceless.

I wanted to introduce my family and non-TAO friends to my Rabbis and community. I wanted them to know this part of me. I wanted them to "feel" the wonderful feeling I have when I celebrate my Jewish soul, Renewal style. I believe I succeeded. So many family, friends and TAO members told me how touched they were by our Service, my Sermon, my friends and our Rabbis. As I write this, I am still flying.

From the blessings I received from Rabbis Shoni, Phil and Marc to the cards (which I have already read numerous times) to the postings which seem to keep magically appearing on FaceBook without my initiation) to the uncountable number of offers for help, this has been a more special event than I could have imagined.

More than 100 of you honored me by making a contribution to TAO, which enlivens and enriches my spirit. I am so grateful that you helped make dreams possible through your benevolence. If you haven't had the opportunity yet to gift TAO in my honor, you still can. Just click here to make a donation. Mention my name in the notes field, and I will be notified of your gift. Hopefully everyone who has already participated has heard from me personally. You "count", and this is just one way you can help make a difference in our world.

One of our congregant's relatives is suffering from Lukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Without this transplant, this person will likely not survive. I want to thank the people who came forward at my Bat Mitzvah to do a non-invasive, two minute swab test to ascertain if they were a match. (This is an anonymous giving, so I do not know who to thank personally.) Being a match literally means saving a life. In harmony with the torah reading, each and every one of us "counts." You "count." This is why we were counted in Numbers, in Bamidbar. If you would like to count for a life, click here to read about how you can participate and for answers to questions you may have about this process.

Counting was one of the major themes of Bamidbar, my torah reading. Being in the desert (or wilderness) and a significance of counting men are the two other themes that I discussed in my Sermon. Several of you asked me for a copy of this sermon, and you may click here to read and/or print it.

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