Today I Am a Woman Recognized Nationally and Locally

Becoming Women by Eryn Loeb
...reading it curled up on my couch on a cozy fall afternoon earlier this month, I found the book to be a genuinely moving read... Read the article  

The Bookshelf by Rabbi Neil Gillman
...The narratives may center around the bat mitzvah itself, but in the process we learn about Jewish life in widely different Jewish communities around the world, about what it means to become an adult woman, and most important, about the power of a ritual that far too many American Jewish families understand as simply an opportunity to have a party. The photos scattered throughout are endearing. Read the article

Jewish Women Become the Best They Can Be by Rosie Rosenzweig
...Perhaps the seminal inspiration, as Vinick reports from an entry in Kaplan’s diary, was witnessing during a trip to Italy in 1922, a young girl and her father ascend to the front the synagogue to say a blessing recognizing the young woman’s ability to be part of the prayer assembly... Read the article

Review by Carol Poll
...It is heartening to read about how many Jews across the globe have a commitment to retaining Jewish practices while at the same time ensuring that women are included.  One particularly fascinating account was presented by Remy Ilona, who described Jewish life among the Nigeria...Read the article

Review by Etta King
...What appeals to me most about this book is how the history, written by Vinick and Reinharz, is mixed in with personal bat mitzvah stories written by girls and adults so that I never get bored of reading too much of one or the other... As I read it, I almost felt that I was sitting in a circle of women sharing the exciting, challenging, terrifying, humbling and thrilling experience of their coming-of-age...Read the article

Bat Mitzvah-hopping the World by Judy Bolton-Fasman
...So my dear daughter, name a country anywhere in the world where Jews live, and you’ll see that the bat mitzvah has always been an intrinsic part of Jewish womanhood. Make sure to pick up “Today I Am A Woman.” (It’s on the coffee table in the living room)... You’ll glimpse your sisters all over the world celebrating adulthood as women and Jews. Read the article

'Today I Am a Woman' Traces Bat Mitzvah Tradition by Charles A. Radin
Shula Reinharz, the Jacob S. Potofsky Professor of Sociology, positively glows  when she talks about her latest book, a just-published collection of bat mitzvah stories from around the world that she edited with fellow sociologist, Dr. Barbara Vinick. No wonder. “Today I Am a Woman” is, after all, an expression of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute founder’s mission in life – using research to push egalitarianism inside and outside the Jewish world and spreading awareness of the breadth, depth and continuing evolution of the international Jewish community...Read the article

JOFA Journal
Review by Roselyn Bell
If you ever needed evidence of how global the Jewish people are and how ritual is one of the ties that bid us, this anthology of first-person accounts of bat mitzvah observances around the world provides it movingly and in spades...Read the article on page 39 of the Journal

Kulanu Newsletter
Review by Blu Greenberg
...You will surely read this book, as I did, through laughter and tears and the sweep of emotions about your own Jewish identity, and the joy and pride and vulnerability of being a Jew...Read the article on page 13 of the Newsletter

Fresh Thinking: News from the HBI

Praise for Today I Am A Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah Around the World

The Fall 2012 newsletter of Kulanu, which supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the globe, features a glowing review by Blu Greenberg of Today I Am A Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah Around the World, edited by HBI Director Shulamit Reinharz and Barbara Vinick. Greenberg writes, "Every encounter touches the heart. [...] The stories in this book testify to the variety of Jewish life and the miracle of our survival in so many places despite our relatively small numbers. Yet, the cumulative effect of the testimonies also points up the amazing capacity of Judaism and Jews for self-renewal."