No, it was not Queen Elizabeth who visited TAG recently; rather, it was authentic mothers of royalty as portrayed in TAG’s inaugural Bas Mitzvah Event.
Becoming a bas mitzvah is certainly a cause for celebration, but understanding and comprehending what that entails was the goal that the school worked on for the past few months. Rabbi Meyer Weitman, the dean of TAG, says, “We wanted to refocus the standard way of celebrating a bas mitzvah and elevate it so that the girls really knew why becoming a bas mitzvah was such a major simcha in their lives. Baruch Hashem, I feel that we succeeded.”
In order to maximize the talents of the sixth-graders, the school hired Mrs. Malkie Brown to coordinate a production that would incorporate the goals of the school through song and dance. “The thing I loved most about the performance was that everyone was part of it and everyone had fun,” said Shayna Lesser, sixth grade.
By selecting three of our “mothers of royalty”–Chana, Miriam, and Esther–the girls portrayed these exceptional role models with moving songs and exuberant dances. “We were inspired by the caliber of the performance and the messages sung loud and clear by our beloved daughters. Tefillah, emunah, tzniyus, and pride in our abilities as individuals and women of Klal Yisrael were all celebrated,” enthused Mrs. Rivky Gross, a parent. Each girl received a gift of a beautiful linear translated Siddur with her name engraved, in the nusach of her choice. They made beautiful picture frames for their own mothers featuring their royal lineage. “The best part of the production was my mother’s reaction when I showed her the picture frame with the letter inside. She really loved it. I also enjoyed the Siddur with my name on it,” responded Talia Ross, sixth grade, when asked what she liked best about the event.
With six classes involved, there were two evenings set aside to accommodate the many mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and even great-grandmothers who came to join in the simcha. Every family had their picture taken at the beginning of the evening and by the end of the evening each mother took home a picture in a beautiful frame along with copies for other members of the family. The stunning new TAG Simcha Hall certainly was the perfect venue for this event, and the hot buffet supplied by Upper Crust was enjoyed by both students and guests. The special booklet that featured items in the world of changes versus timelessness was a poignant reminder about what is truly everlasting.
At the conclusion of the meaningful performance, the girls were treated to dancing and singing with Mrs. Bracha Jaffe leading them. Not to be left out, mothers and grandmothers also joined in. One of the most moving moments was when all the participants made a huge circle and sang “V’zakeini L’gadel,” every mother’s tefillah at hadlakas neiros, swaying and holding on to their daughters with tears in their eyes, expressing their joy and pride at being part of this truly royal occasion.
Much hard work and effort went into making this such a memorable evening. A huge yasher koach to Rabbi Meyer Weitman for his inspiration and support, as well as his enthusiastic encouragement in all areas of this event. Thanks to all the sixth grade moros: Moros Michal Feig, Chevie Langsam, Hinda Perr, Shana Rosenbaum, Shana Pollack, Batsheva Scheiner, and Sarale Weiner. Special hakaras ha’tov to eighth-grade students Zippy Bugayer, Chana Rivka Caplan, Miriam Fruchter, Shira Gade, Nechama Mansour, Dina Yurman, Sara Vahab, and Shayna Zelmanovitch for helping with the amazing choreography. Accolades to Morah Sara Drillman, the very heart and soul of the entire project from beginning to end, and to Mrs. Chavie Rhodes, who made it all happen. And last but not least, a huge bravo to Mrs. Brown who took an idea and made it a most moving and inspiring reality.