The girls dressed for the occasion

Photos by Tal Zuck 

The trend today amongst our children and grandchildren is to forego the big batmitzvah party and take a family trip overseas.  And then of course, the problem is that when you come back, they still want the party!   

But what happens when you can do neither? Luckily for our 12-year old girls, in the Students Build a Community Projects in Netanya, ESRA has wonderful donors who ensure that our kids from the four neighborhoods of Hefzibah, Neot Shaked, Sela and Nordau will at least have an evening to remember. 

       

This year the party started with Eitan the balloon wizard, setting the tables and the stage with giant balloon flowers.   

Our 24 batmitzvah girls arrived, beautifully dressed for the occasion, bringing their mothers and sisters to help them celebrate.  Posters with photos of the girls were laid out on the stage, ready for their friends to write their wishes for them.  Our party tradition of candle-holder shaping kept the girls and their mothers busy, scraping away the excess stone to make beautiful shiny smooth candle-holders. This was followed by a short Power Point presentation, showing each girl explaining her dreams for the future.  The ceremony of “hafrashat challah” was movingly conducted by Zehava Feleka and Yaffa Alena, from the Garin

                                                              

Zehava and Yaffa conducting the challah ceremony.  Right: The batmitzvah girls making the challot – some with mummy’s help

Chinouchi in Neot Shaked, and ended with the girls lighting candles in their new holders and making a wish and a prayer. Each girl plaited her own challah with Mommy’s help! 

This year, the exciting atmosphere was reinforced by the presence of ESRA volunteers and donors and by the participation of the mothers in supplying the delicious Ethiopian traditional injira and the sauces that go with it, and by the beautiful birthday anniversary cake baked by Juliet Rostowsky 

Our thanks go to:

Jan Gaines, our major sponsor of the evening, both for supporting the evening and for joining us.

The Neot Ganim Community Center for use of their lovely hall.

Natali Jewelry Design, for the beautiful bracelets given to the girls.

Juliet Rostowsky for the delicious cake.

Shir Lavy for the Power-Point presentation.

The ESRA members who joined us and showed the community that we are right there with them.

Tal Zuck who took the lovely photos.

Ilan the Handyman, who always supplies us with chairs and tables for our events.

Our wonderful students, who were so active throughout the evening making sure that the girls and their mothers had a good time and that the hall was left clean and ready for the next day. 

Our batmitzvah girls and their mothers went home knowing that they are loved and cared for and can dream of a bright future.

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About the author

Nina Zuck

Nina Zuck, originally from South Africa, came to live in Israel in 1972. She studied English Tutoring at Beit Berl College and is a private English teacher. She has had vast volunteering experience...
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