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Inspired by Dr. Ruth, Sophomore Becomes Bat Mitzvah

by Anonymous |Apr 26, 2010|Comments

Dr. Ruth Westheimer discusses Jewish identity with the Daily Princetonian.

When enrolling in JDS 315/WOM 310: The Family in Jewish Tradition, Alexis Kleinman '12 expected to learn about Judaism and talk about sex with psychosexual therapist and 1980s icon Dr. Ruth Westheimer. While the seminar delivered on both fronts, she also ended up with a bonus: a bat mitzvah.

In a room packed with friends and family at the Center for Jewish Life, Kleinman celebrated her 20th birthday on Friday evening with a ceremony that Jewish girls and boys usually celebrate at the ages of 12 and 13, respectively, to conclude a childhood of theological and Hebrew study and recognize their entrance into Jewish adulthood. Kleinman is also a senior writer for The Daily Princetonian.

Raised in a non-practicing Jewish household, Kleinman said she became fascinated with religion when she was in 10th grade at Wilmington Friends, a Quaker school. "I always believed in God, and always felt a connection to Judaism, but never had a real way to express that belief," she said.

As a "scared freshman," Kleinman explained, she wandered into the CJL and soon began studying with Sara Wolkenfeld, educational director of the Jewish Learning Initiative.

Read the rest of the story in the Daily Princetonian.

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