Brooke’s Bat Mitzvah

A family celebrates their daughter’s coming of age ritual with a Hollywood theme.

Funny thing in the photography business, you just never know what you might be covering next.

Early this year, my friends and former co-workers Kerri and Matt asked if I would do event photography at their daughter Brooke’s bat mitzvah. I had never done one before, or even witnessed one, but I was game for sure.

The day finally arrived this month with Brooke turning 13. This meant she it was her time to become responsible for her actions in in Jewish law and become a bat mitzvah during a special ceremony at Fresno’s Temple Beth Israel in front of family and friends.

I was asked to photograph from outside the doorway to the temple as the prayer service was conducted with Brooke’s readings from the Torah. At times during her readings she was joined by members of her family and Rabbi Rick Winer. Something I learned: the temple’s Torah is a hand-written document that takes a year to complete. Brooke did a great job and was congratulated by everyone there. I’m sure she was relieved and proud of her achievement.

A giant party followed the ceremony with chair dancing, a candle lighting ceremony and other customs in the reception room decorated with a Hollywood theme. There was a nice dinner, a cake dessert and then dancing into the night. I was sure glad to accept this assignment from Kerri and Matt as it was a fun and educational experience for me. And of course it was a great moment to see Brooke make this leap to adulthood. Congratulations to her!