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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"All the historical, spiritual and practical levels you need…. An excellent resource for those seeking creative yet traditional ways to include girls and women into the rich tapestry of Jewish lifecycle events."
―Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, author of ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens and editor of The Women's Torah Commentaryand The Women's Haftarah Commentary
"A fine resource for clergy and parents alike. A rich selection of readings and blessings is complemented by an intriguing description of naming ceremonies in the Jewish tradition."
―Cantor Erica Jan Lippitz, Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange, New Jersey
“A comprehensive compendium.... With exquisite sensitivity to Jewish ethnic, religious and familial diversity, Nussbaum Cohen offers a great birth present for parents and girls and a must for every rabbi’s study, synagogue gift shop or day school library.”
―Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America