Development of Brit Bat

The past three decades have seen the development of this ceremony with ancient roots and contemporary wings.

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When my own daughter was born, I'd been collecting simchat bat and brit bat ceremony programs one at a time for several years, but I still felt at a loss about where to begin organizing our own. I realized that if I was struggling, many people probably were also, so I began doing research that resulted in a book, Celebrating Your New Jewish Daughter: Creating Jewish Ways to Welcome Baby Girls into the Covenant (Jewish Lights).  It contains an exploration of the themes and issues related to simchat bat, and a complete collection of blessings, prayers, readings, and songs to choose from, as well as sample ceremonies. It has been gratifying to know that what started out as a personal exploration has ended up helping a lot of parents and rabbis.

Today, welcoming ceremonies for Jewish girls have become so popular that in many circles they have become an expected--if not yet universally practiced--rite of passage.

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Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Debra Nussbaum Cohen is a staff writer for The Jewish Week.