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Jammers Visit DC JCC

Posted on 07/26/2010 @ 11:31 AM

Impact: DC Jam 2

Saturday, July 24th, was a truly beautiful day.

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Of course the late wake up for Shabbat was nice, but that was just the beginning. Some of the Jammers, Jen Fallick, Adam Greenwald, and I went to the DC JCC where the Bet Mishpacha meet, a gay/lesbian congregation.

At first it started out like a regular shabbat service, with a few changes such as not using the word "Lord" in respect to the women of the congregation. After the torah was brought out and read from, the almost rabbi Adam Greenwald asked me if I wanted to be Bat-Mitzvahed and I excitedly said yes (P.S. I come from a intermarriage where my mother's side is Jewish and my father's is Christian so I wasn't brought up in a religious household. I was the only Jammer who hadn't went to Hebrew school and had a Bat-Mitzvah.)

So when Rabbi Tobi Manewith asked if there were any aliyahs, Adam announced that there was a Bat-Mitzvah. The congregation clapped as I walked up to the Torah. Adam helped me in saying the prayer to put my tallit on for the first time. Then Rabbi Tobi and I pointed to the section of the Torah where we would be reading from with the yad. I recited the prayer (which was transliterated because I can't, unfortunately, read Hebrew.) and the congregation replied, then I continued on to read the rest of the prayer. Once I finished Rabbi Tobi read from the Torah. Afterwards Adam read a prayer from his prayer book to me, blessing me as a Bat Mitzvah. To close, I touched the Torah with my tallit and then helped dress the Torah. The congregation cheered and to be honest, I had never had such a powerful Jewish experience in my entire life. I felt so connected and accepted into the Jewish community. I had always felt left out from the other Jewish kids because I never really had done anything to be an official part of the Jewish community, but now I had. Throughout the entire experience, a smile was glued to my face.

After the service was a delicious kiddish loaded with bagels, lox, egg salad, cake, and other amazing foods. Once we got back to the Hillel we celebrated again with an ice cream kiddish with the rest of the impact group.

Once the Havdallah service was completed that night, the kids threw me my own Bat Mitzvah party! It was such an awesome experience. I first got lifted in the chair as everyone danced in a circle around me. It was so beautiful to see everyone in support of my special day and being in the spotlight as a Bat Mitzvah. After singing some more songs we played the cheesy bat Mitzvah party games like Coke and Pepsi and Huggie Bear. To end the party we played Zip Zap Zop.

It was an absolutely amazing experience and I appreciated it so much. I love all of the friends I made at DC JAM and I loved that they were all there for me for my Bat Mitzvah.

I'm really sad to go, but I will be bringing so much from this trip home with me. Thanks DC JAM.

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