American Civic Life

The First Bat Mitzvah was 100 Years Ago, and has been Opening Doors for Jewish Women ever Since

March 16, 2022

Batya Sperling Milner, who is blind, recites her Torah portion during rehearsal for her bat mitzvah ceremony at Ohev Shalom, an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C. A computer programmer added the Torah chant code to the braille Torah so she could learn to recite. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Image

Batya Sperling Milner, who is blind, recites her Torah portion during rehearsal for her bat mitzvah ceremony at Ohev Shalom, an Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C. A computer programmer added the Torah chant code to the braille Torah so she could learn to recite. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Image

Charlotte Gottlieb, 93, reads from the Torah during her bat mitzvah ceremony in Maryland. Women who were unable to have a ceremony at age 13 are now able to celebrate this Jewish ritual. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Image

Charlotte Gottlieb, 93, reads from the Torah during her bat mitzvah ceremony in Maryland. Women who were unable to have a ceremony at age 13 are now able to celebrate this Jewish ritual. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Image

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