On Wednesday, May 24, Chabad of Silver Spring held their last Bat Mitzvah Club (BMC) meeting, a celebration that the mothers and daughters attended together to mark the end of the girls’ bat mitzvah year. The event was elegantly pulled together by Mina Stolik, who has been living in Kemp Mill temporarily to help Chabad with youth programming, and who led the club this year. The elegant décor and creatively presented food, courtesy of Mina, gave the event an air of sophistication.
The BMC of Silver Spring started 12 years ago when Rabbi Berel and Mrs. Chaya Wolvovsky first moved here. Mrs. Wolvovsky explained that the BMC program originated in New York to teach girls that becoming a Bat Mitzvah is more than just a party. This club was the first program that Chabad of Silver Spring organized back in 2005. Some of the participants from the first club are even married now. A regular meeting takes place once a month, where girls are treated to a creatively decorated room, which matches a theme connected to a lesson. The girls do all sorts of projects and eat delicious food, and afterward connect the club’s events to becoming a Bat Mitzvah.
After speaking with a group of the club members, it was clear that they’ve all grown in Torah and mitzvot from Mina. Jenny Kagan, one of the BMC participants, was excited to say that, “The Bat Mitzvah Club makes learning fun, and the projects were always the best part.” This last meeting was an opportunity for mothers to watch their daughters graduate from the club.
Blossoming was the theme, representing how the girls have blossomed into Jewish women by participating in the club the entire year. Following this theme, each mother-daughter pair was given information about a different heroic Jewish woman. Together they learned about the woman, then each daughter told the group what she learned, after which her mother gave her a special blessing. All this information was put on index cards and connected to a rose. The roses were placed together in a vase to create a bouquet of blessings.
After the activity, each club member was given a certificate, followed by a D’var Torah given by BMC mother, Kami Troy. The evening concluded with each mother-daughter pair decorating vases together to continue the theme of blossoming into Jewish women.
“I didn’t only teach the girls, but the girls also taught me,” Mina confided.
By Ellie Guberman
Ellie Guberman is in 10th Grade at the Berman Hebrew Academy, where she is on the Girls Varsity Basketball team and student council. She lives in Kemp Mill and goes to Kemp Mill Synagogue, where she is involved in Bnei Akiva. She is also on the Greater Washington NCSY chapter board.