Liturgy to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Bat Mitzvah

For honoring Bat Mitzvah Pioneers, those who were among the first at your congregation to have a Bat Mitzvah or were the firsts in the congregations in which they were raised:

May the One who Blessed our Ancestors, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, Miriam, Avigail, Ruth and Esther, bless [name all who are present for the Aliyah] who has/have risen today in honor of Torah, in honor of community, in honor of the Holy One, and in honor of her/their pioneering first bat mitzvah at [name of congregation] in [year].

On the 100th anniversary of the first Bat Mitzvah, we are grateful for those brave women in our congregation and beyond who initiated Bat Mitzvah in communities across North America for generations to come. We honor you today, and celebrate your chutzpah and commitment, and your willingness, like Judith Kaplan, to step forward as a Bat Mitzvah when there were no others in front of you to lead the way.

May you be blessed with satisfaction, as you see young girls, women, and people of all genders walk the path that you helped forge and take their place in Jewish life. May you find continued success in all of your labors, and be granted health and joy along with all your sisters among the people of Israel and the world, and let us say: Amen.

For honoring pioneering female leadership in all areas of your community (first female Chairs of the Board, Chairs of various committees):

May the One who Blessed our Ancestors, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, bless all who have risen today in honor of Torah, in honor of the Holy One, in honor of community, and in honor of the 100th anniversary of Bat Mitzvah.

After Judith Kaplan rose as the first Bat Mitzvah, girls and women across North America organized for greater participation in all areas of Jewish life. We celebrate all those pioneers in our synagogue who came forward like our ancestor Miriam to lead our community. [You can name individuals and the positions they filled, i.e. First Female Treasurer, First Female Board Chair, first female Rabbi/Cantor]

We honor your leadership, vision, and commitment. May you be kept and held in blessing. May you continue to see the fruits of your labor in the blossoming of our community. May you be granted health and kept from all harm, along with all of your siblings in the people of Israel, and the world, and we say: Amen.

For honoring a class of Adult B’not/B’nei Mitzvah in your community:

May the One who Blessed our Ancestors Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, Miriam, Avigail, Ruth and Esther bless all who have risen today in honor of Torah, in honor of the Holy One, in honor of community, and in honor of your [upcoming] adult B’not/B’nei Mitzvah.

On this 100th anniversary of Bat Mitzvah, we remember that in the course of Jewish history, bat mitzvah is only a recent phenomenon. We give thanks for Judith Kaplan and for all those pioneers who established Bat Mitzvah for generations to come. We honor those who came before us, who paved a way for us [and for other adult Jews] to follow in their footsteps and claim our rightful place in Jewish tradition and community.

Hodu L’aDonai Ki Tov, Ki L’olam Hasdo! Exclaim praise to the One for God is good. God’s lovingkindness is eternal.

By the merit of coming to the Torah, may you draw closer to the Holy One. May your lives be enriched by the bonds of tradition and community. May you know blessings of success and health, along with all of your siblings in the people of Israel and let us say: Amen.

For honoring upcoming B’not or B*Mitzvahs during the anniversary year:

May the One who Blessed our Ancestors Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, Miriam, Avigail, Ruth and Esther bless all who have risen today in honor of Torah, in honor of the Holy One, in honor of community, and in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Bat Mitzvah.

We give thanks for our ancestors who walked this path before us. For Judith Kaplan and for all those other Bat Mitzvah pioneers in your congregations or in your families who enabled you to come before the Torah in celebration of your B’not/B*Mitzvahs. Together may we build on the legacy you inherited and shape a Jewish future in which every voice is valued and heard, in which people of all genders contribute to the ongoing revelation of Torah. May you be blessed with inspiration, insight, joy, and compassion. May you be blessed with health of mind, body, and spirit, along with all your families and your community, and let us say Amen.

Mi Sheberach for Transgender & Non-Binary B*Mitzvah Pioneers:

May the One who Blessed our Ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel bless all who have risen today in honor of Torah, in honor of the Holy One, in honor of community, and in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Bat Mitzvah.

When Judith Kaplan rose as the first Bat Mitzvah in 1922, she not only initiated Bat Mitzvah, she opened the door for people of all genders to rise and claim their rightful place within the Jewish community. We give thanks for her bravery and for the courage and vision of those transgender and non-binary Jews who, like Judith Kapan, stepped forward when there were no others in front of you to lead the way.

There is much more work to be done to make the Jewish community a place where Jews of all sexual orientations and gender identities feel safe and celebrated. Let us commit: Olam Hesed Yibane. We will build this world from love.

May all the transgender and non-binary pioneers of Bat & B*Mitzvah continue to be blessed and kept from all safety and harm. May you/they be blessed to know health, happiness, and joy, along with all of their siblings in the people of Israel and the world, and let us say Amen.


A project of SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All and the Jewish Women’s Archive. Learn more here. Join the kick-off event on 3/17/22.

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