My Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah — 2 Weeks to Go

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It Takes an International Coalition
And far more than just a village.
It takes teachers, friends, and family in three continents, networking through a score of states, temples and homes, with tutoring on airplane and horseback; it takes kindness and firmness and vision and tradition, the efforts of an entire congregation and hundreds beyond—it takes an entire universe, or maybe more precisely an international coalition to raise a daughter into a Bat Mitzvah.
Thank you, everyone.
What a great job we’ve done.
Thank you Temple Emanuel and especially the Religious School, teachers Sheldon and Susan Bishov, Ivy Helman, Susan Stein, Joseph Bernstein and Jen Rubin; thank you Education Committee and Religious School parents and supporters. Thank you temple Board for funding and supporting the Religious School and to all congregants and friends who have paid dues and made donations. Thank you committees for raising funds and building community, thank you for support both quiet and loud, for voices joined in song and bodies swaying in dance. Thank you all the b’nei mitzvah families that have come before and those also who will follow, for the chain of tradition and joy and brilliance. Thank you glbtq havurah for your support, Kids 4 Peace for challenging and expanding, the Jewish Multiracial Network for lifting up our family, the National Havurah Institute for providing community and Nehirim for providing more community. Thank you Mass Board of Rabbis and Mass Jews in general for teaching and upholding a thrilling set of Jewish family values here in New England. Thank you Mayyim Hayyim, GLILA, and Women at the Wall for teaching, inspiring and making us more whole spiritually. Thank you patriarch Sol Brettschneider and aunties Nina, Beth and Alice, nieces, nephews and cousins for your devotion and generosity, and the deep roots with which you anchor our tall, tall child. Thank you Marla for everything.
All this is more than enough to make this ema/rabbi confident that our lovely and illustrious 13 year old dancer/singer/artist/Torah reader/service leader has already taken her place as a vital part of this holy international coalition, local chapter, aiding and supporting her classmates and her sister, her comrades in Kids 4 Peace and the Jewish Multiracial Network, NHI and Nehirim, and random un-bar/bat mitzvahed adults in a dozen different states and Israel as well. Reaching forward reaching back, aiding and abetting everyone within this wide circumference, drawing them into the circle of commandedness, of mitzvah,
a.k.a. relation.
It’s a good system. We should keep doing it.