2023 MUM Batmi Ceremony Speech.

  By: Alana Szylit


Rabbi Cooper, Menucha, Rebbetzin Rivkah, our wonderful B’not Mitzvah girls, Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel very honoured to be invited to address our Bat-Mitzvah girls on behalf of all the parents today.

12 years ago, we were all given the special gift of our daughters coming into this world. After nurturing them, watching them grow & travel through primary school, they finally made it to one of the most exciting milestones of their Jewish life - their Bat Mitzvah. A significant moment when a young woman has attained legal adulthood under Jewish law. Continuing the link in an unbroken chain of 101 years of Jewish tradition.

As a community we celebrate the Bat Mitzvah in order to help our young adults become aware of and draw meaning from this significant transition in their lives. Which is exactly what Menucha and the Chabad team have successfully done for our girls. They have guided, educated and encouraged thoughtful and meaningful conversation around new topics. They have encouraged our daughters to ask questions and given them a thirst to want more, they have answered questions and stayed present until all the questions have been answered. They have passed on knowledge and wisdom about being a Jewish woman. They have provided our daughters with a depth of knowledge that will stay with them forever. They have empowered the girls to connect to their Jewish identity. They have inspired. Thank you Menucha for everything you have given to our girls. It was such a wonderful and well thought out program. We are so grateful for all your time, effort and energy.

Girls, you are now in charge of your Jewish journey.  You get to explore and discover what deeply enriches you spiritually, what lights you up and what connects you.

Our wish for you is to connect to Judaism to help define your own identity.

Our wish for you is to find your way to connect to Hashem, to the Torah, to T’fillah, to find your own way to completing Mitzvot, to find your way to live a moral life filled with Chessed/kindness.

Our wish for you girls, is for you to continue to learn, to educate yourselves about our heritage, to explore who we are and what defines us as Jews.

Our wish for you is for you to continue to love your culture and our traditions.

Always leave the door open for Judaism in your life, whether its buying a challah on a Friday night, lighting Shabbat candles, eating matzah, or cooking Jewish food - try to connect to your Jewish culture and faith.

These traditions serve as a vital link between Jews today and our predecessors throughout history.

Try to do a little bit more each year.

If you only celebrated one Chag one year, celebrate two the year after, if you fasted for 15 hours one Yom Kippur, fast for 16 hours the next, if you attended Shul twice one year, set a goal to attend 3, or commit to yourself today, to attend a Shabbat service on the anniversary of your bat mitzvah every year. Keep connecting, keep moving forward, do a little bit more. By you continuing these practices and traditions, we are keeping our beautiful Jewish culture alive.

When you don’t have the answers, when frustration, difficulties and fear assail you, when you have doubt and lose sight, always know you have the gift of your faith. Judaism will always be able to guide you.

To travel through life, we need support, Have a look girls, here they are. Your unwavering support, sitting right in front of you. Your Mishpacha. Always there to provide unconditional love and care.

Also sitting in front of you are your Rabbis and Rebbetzins, as well as Your Jewish community. Turn to them. Find comfort and support in your Jewish community. How blessed we are to live in such a tight knit Jewish community in Melbourne. Connect, connect in any way you can. Create new ways to connect. We are counting on you, the next generation, to help to continue Jewish Life in Melbourne.

As a people, we have preserved and developed our culture for thousands of years. Now more than ever, it is essential for us to wear our Jewishness with pride, to acknowledge your identity, to continue Jewish life. Be proud. Embrace and celebrate being Jewish. Being Jewish is a source of pride.

Girls we are grateful to you for keeping our Jewish culture alive today by celebrating your bat mitzvah in Shul. Thank you for taking the time every week this year to learn, thank you for your passion and interest in the new topics and thank you for your insightful words in your speeches. You really demonstrated how much you have learned this past year.

Thank you for being another thread woven into the tapestry of Jewish tradition today.

A big Mazel Tov to you all on your Bat Mitzvah. We all love you, we are all so proud of you and we are all beaming with nachos from you today. We wish you a lifetime of good health, happiness, light and laughter.