On Tuesday, June 7, The YCQ Grade 6 girls celebrated a Chagigat B’not Mitzvah Dinner in the Yeshiva of Central Queens auditorium. This event marks the midway point of the bas mitzvah season for our Grade 6 girls. As each student becomes a bas mitzvah, YCQ presents the opportunity and guidance to research, through interviewing their parents and grandparents, why their parents decided to give them their unique names. In celebration of their research, YCQ invited the students and all adult female relatives to the celebratory dinner, in appreciation of the presence of “L’Dor VaDor” (“from generation to generation”) in every bas mitzvah experience. The YCQ Chagigat B’Not Mitzvah Dinner is the culmination of a project that expressed the values and hopes of past, present, and future generations.

Each Grade 6 girl researched the meaning of her Hebrew name, and which mitzvah she would take upon herself with this milestone – students chose chesed, tz’dakah, recitation of T’hilim, and keeping Shabbos. After studying the background of their names, the girls understood that, in Judaism, choosing a child’s name is a mission of continuity. They learned that their names represent the values of previous generations, and when they become bas mitzvah, it is their responsibility to transmit those values with honor and respect.

The final presentation of their research included a declaration from each girl who, in front of the audience, stated the values of her namesake, and declared that she was making a commitment to her chosen mitzvah. The class presented a closing choral performance. Each student received a gift from YCQ – a picture of herself with her namesake on the frame, and a beautiful new ArtScroll siddur.

“It makes me so proud to know that our girls are growing, not just emotionally and socially,” stated Rabbi Mark Landman, Principal, “but spiritually, as they are making vows to continue the values of their namesakes whom they have discovered through their dedicated research into their individual families.”

“The annual Chagigat B’not Mitzvah Dinner was created for our students, their mothers, their aunts, and their grandmothers,” reported Morah Leemor Abraham. “It was a joint celebration for all the girls’ bas mitzvahs. We had dinner, the girls read their values of their namesakes, and they sang for their relatives. It is a beautiful annual YCQ tradition. I hope they use their new siddurim to daven every morning – the school wanted to give them a meaningful gift.”

Morah Leemor continued, “They should know why they have this names. They should know where they come from, who they are named after, and why.” The participating families and faculty are grateful to YCQ and Morah Leemor for organizing the meaningful project, and the beautiful celebration.