I was very pleased to meet Kamali, the first bat mitzvah student I have had the opportunity to meet and chat to about their experience. As well as all the reading about Judaism that I have been enjoying, being able to talk to students about this special rite of passage was an excellent learning opportunity for me. I learnt about how Kamali will need to act in a slightly more mature manner after her bat mitzvah and how it involves taking on more responsibilities such as making sure that she prays thoughtfully and with intent.

After our conversation, I am confident that Kamali is more than ready for the challenge. Kamali attends the Chabad Shule and told me about her Parsha, which was from Exodus and entitled ‘Blood on the Doorpost’. This was when the Israelites were leaving slavery in Egypt and they put the blood of the lamb they were roasting on their doorposts, to show that Israelites lived in these homes and to show their dedication to God’s wishes and commands. God then knew to pass over the homes whose doors are smeared with blood. This is where the term ‘Passover’ comes from. I learnt that Kamali was allowed to have a script (she didn’t have to learn the reading off by heart) and she could read it in English – it didn’t have to be in Hebrew.

Kamali enjoyed a party at the Morley Rollerdrome and although she was sad that her family from Melbourne and Sydney couldn’t attend, she was looking forward to her uncle visiting very soon with his new baby. Kamali also told me about how she loves Carmel for the many opportunities on offer – her favourite things are netball and swimming. She’s looking forward to lessons being exciting this year – especially the science experiments and making things in art. Thank you, Kamali, for sharing the story of your bat mitzvah with me and helping me learn more about the Jewish way of life.