Shabbat Yitro, earlier this month, marked an historic day for Congregation Dor Tamid and eight of its members. After nearly a year of study with Rabbi Jordan Ottenstein and cantorial soloist Mike Zuspan, these eight adults, ranging in age from early 30s to mid-70s, stood in front of the community, led the congregation of almost 300 in prayer, and read from the Torah.
“Participating in the adult b’nai mitzvah was a dream come true for me,” said Leslie Fox, president of CDT and one of the eight called to the Torah. “Taking the time to do this for myself, having the support of my clergy when times got tough, and having my family and CDT community for support and celebration made for one of my best days ever.”
The group of eight came from different parts of the CDT community. Some were founding members and some brand new. Three serve on the board of directors, one teaches in the religious school (a position she began after learning Hebrew for her bat mitzvah), and five of the class had their own children celebrate their b’nai mitzvah at CDT as well in previous years.
This writer felt a great sense of pride when his father, Eric, was standing on the bimah reading the Torah, knowing how hard he worked for this moment.
The class was made up of Leslie Fox, Lauren Green, Michelle Hall, Michelle Pomerantz, Janice Rappaport, Eric Cole, Ashley Chenault, and Debbie Rubin.
Rabbi Ottenstein remarked, “It was such a privilege to work with this amazing group of adult learners over the past year. Each one of them came to this program and this moment with different goals and motivations, and each one of our eight b’nai mitzvah was extraordinarily successful. Seeing not only each of them lead us in prayer and read Torah, but also the entire community’s outpouring of love and support, was so inspiring. In fact, we already have a number of people asking us when the next adult b’nai mitzvah will be!”