From Publishers Weekly
While the brit milah (circumcision) ceremony welcomes baby boys into the Jewish community, no similar standard celebration exists for baby girls. Cohen, a journalist, introduces and collects welcoming ceremonies that have been invented over the past 30 years, unearthed from Jewish communities around the world and adapted from other rituals. The challenge of the simchat bat (celebration of a daughter), she says, is that its innovative nature "extends to each of us the opportunity to compose the ceremony that feels best suited to our family's needs." To guide parents, grandparents, rabbis and cantors, Cohen has compiled an array of prayers, readings, blessings, songs and rituals that concretize the child's entry into the community. Hebrew texts are accompanied by translations and transliterations. Complete sample ceremonies include Sephardic, Orthodox, humanist and a "modern mikvah ceremony" in which the child is immersed in a vessel representing the traditional ritual bath. The ceremonies that work best, Cohen notes, are rooted in modern poems and songs as well as classical elements of Jewish liturgy. This resource will guide families at one of the most joyous moments of their lives.
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"...a must for every rabbi's study, synagogue gift shop, or day school library." -- Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of Debra, Golda and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America
"A rich selection of readings and blessings is complemented by an intriguing tradition of naming ceremonies in the Jewish tradition." -- Cantor Erica Jan Lippitz, Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange, New Jersey
"A treasure-chest of ceremonies, songs, and readings. What a terrific resource for parents, grandparents, rabbis and cantors." -- Anita Diamant, author of the Red Tent, The New Jewish Baby Book and How to Be a Jewish Parent
"It reaches into the depths of our souls as we connect a new member of the family to the covenant." -- Blu Greenberg, author of On Women and Judaism: A View From Tradition