53 young girls first step into adulthood
2016-2017 Annette Bat-Mitzvah Club’s young girl members’ collective Bat-Mitzvah ceremony took place at Neve Shalom Synagogue, on Sunday, June 4th.
53 young girls at Bat-Mitzvah age who attended the Club for one year participated in the ceremony that was held for the 11th consecutive year.
The ceremony started with the screening of a special video showing the activities Bat-mitzvah girls did all year long. As vocalist Cenk Rofe and Estreyikas d’Estambol led by Izzet Bana sang “Boi Kala”, each Bat-Mitzvah girl entered the synagogue arm in arm with their fathers. After Bat-Mitzvah girls recited Bat-Mitzvah prayer both in Hebrew and Turkish, Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva gave a speech. He highlighted the importance of young girls by stating that when G-d gave Torah to the people of Israel, the people pledged their children as a guarantee thus indicating that as future mothers, the young girls are responsible to preserve and pass on our traditions. Chief Rabbi gave each Bat-Mitzvah girl his blessing.
After the speeches, the girls thanked their tutors Reysi Haleva, Vanessa Kaston, Sendi Behar, Rayka Zavaro, Lara Tavaşi and Betül Yohay and Psychologist Romina Yeroham and their head teacher Linda Guner who have been with them all year and gave each of them bouquets of flowers to show their gratitude.
During the candle-lighting ceremony, Annette Rubenstein Talu who lost her life at the 2003 terror attack was commemorated. The Bat-Mitzvah Club is named after her. Bat-Mitzvah girls then donated the Tsedaka they have collected all year long to Or-Yom. Moiz Romana accepted the donation on behalf of Or-Yom. He thanked the young girls for their recent visit to Or-Yom. Bat-Mitzvah girls also gave a brief music performance during the ceremony and sang Yerushalayim Shel Zaav, Evenu Shalom, Shalom Aleichem, Toda and Tefila. After their performance, the Bat-Mitzvah girls gave UOMO music teacher Tutkum Alkan flowers to thank him for preparing them for this music performance.