Yael and The Party of the Year

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Yael and The Party of the YearWhat the Book is About:

This choose your own adventure style book takes Yael through the months leading up to her bat mitzvah. During this time, she negotiates with her loving yet overbearing mom to plan the celebration that best reflects her personality and begins to appreciate the friends (and boys) around her. Kids will enjoy reading in the driver’s seat with this light and fun choice.

Jewish Content and Values

  • Yael plans to celebrate her bat mitzvah by reading in Hebrew from the Torah at synagogue, followed by a kiddush brunch, and making a speech at a party with her family and friends. 
  • Yael’s family goes to synagogue on Shabbat and doesn’t allow her to use her phone, except for emergencies.

Positive Role Models

  • In a few chapter options, Yael makes good choices, for example, standing up to Gabriel, not disappearing when it’s time to make her speech, and being kind to her sister, Rivka.
  • In a few chapter options, Eli is a caring friend, helping Yael practice for her bat mitzvah and supporting her through the process.

Content Advisory

Yael and her friends are becoming very interested in boys, and there’s a lot of age appropriate and innocent talk about slow dancing at the party and whom to choose as a partner, as well as crushes and potential boyfriend options.

Talk it Over

Yael’s dad feels that the most important thing about her bat mitzvah is the aliyah at the synagogue; her mom prioritizes the joyous celebration with family and friends. What do you think is the most important part about becoming a bar or bat mitzvah?

More For You

Judith Kaplan Eisenstein was the daughter of Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan. In 1922, she had the first official bat mitzvah ceremony in America. She recalled, “The Friday night before the service, my father decided what I was to do. I was to recite the blessings, read a portion of the Torah sidrah… in Hebrew and in English and conclude with the blessing and that was it… And that was enough to shock a lot of people, including my own grandparents and aunts and uncles… No thunder sounded. No lightning struck.” 

Today, bat mitzvah ceremonies have become the usual practice in most Jewish communities; even in the most traditional circles, it’s accepted for girls to celebrate this milestone in some special way.   

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