The Tradition

A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony for Jewish boys and girls when they reach the age of 13. This ceremony marks the time when a boy or girl becomes a Jewish adult. This means that they are now responsible for their own actions and count as part of a minyan, or a quorum needed for some fundamental community services.

Historically, only boys became B'nei Mitzvot: but for 100 years now, girls have been able to celebrate leading services. Learn more in this terrific reporting here from NPR:. and here from the Jewish Women's Archive, in podcast form.  

Raleigh has been preparing for about four years now to lead services as a Bat Mitzvah, and as a community leader, she's also working on a service project.