Inside a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth’El in Philadelphia

Temple Beth’El is unique. We do the traditional prayers
and with a traditional seder. We read along, we do the traditional Torah reading
that is assigned every week with every Jew all over the nation, and what we
add to it is a little bit of a flare of the African-American culture, so that
kind of infiltrates into the songs. I felt extremely excited, privileged,
and honored to raise up the second generation and congregation at Temple Beth’El and for Mikaela to embrace the Torah portion and to read all seven readings and to do it with grace. When I say we do it differently, we
embrace our own culture in it. My family in particular has a way that we
celebrate, and we’re going to perform bat mitzvah dance. Being black and Jewish is an honor, a dual privilege. Of course, my ethnicity is African-American.
I embrace Judaism with all of my heart, soul and being.

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