Our very own Sheena Levi, touched down in
Israel last month to join the Children's Home simcha – a bat mitzvah party that
included 19 celebrants. Perhaps it was the largest group of girls in the world
to commemorated their 'right of passage' with a gala dinner, Reporting “live”
from Netanya, Sheena's words glowed across the miles. She shares her marvelous
experience here with us.
bat mitzvah was held in a brand new hall in Netanya, the first event ever to be
The evening started off with an appetizer
spread of salads and bread and hot stations of chicken, meatballs,
moroccan couscous, and Thai noodles. The 19 bat mitzvah girls from the
Home where announced one by one to take the stage in front
of their adoring fans. Each girl wore beautiful custom-made matching
pale pink gowns, but with their personal style added. Some gowns
had sequins, other silk rosettes, some had both. Each girl
had her hair done in gorgeous updos or styled
in intricate ringlets. They looked like princesses!
Then the 3 Lev LaLev bat mitzvah girls:
Rachel P., Sarina H., and Jemma L., who helped sponsor the gala as part
of their mitzvah projects, joined their new friends on stage too!
There was a special candle lighting ceremony
where the girls spoke in groups, after which each bat mitzvah
girl received a gift – a beautifully wrapped new siddur,
and book of tehillim, each with a special message written inside, from Rachel
I spoke to the guests, and made sure to
extend mazal tov wishes on behalf of the entire Lev LaLev family from around
the world. The girls were so appreciative! Many came up to me afterwards to say
'todah rabbah' in person, and to pass on their thanks to the friends
and donors! They also wished a mazal tov and gave a hug to the mitzvah project
girls each time they walked by them.
Next there was a musical performance and
dance while the guests ate the main course. No one went home hungry! With a
first course of fish and mashed potatoes, followed by rice and a choice of
chicken or beef, and finally, the piece de resistance, a dessert of sorbet and fruit.
The performances were so professional, and the costumes so expertly
made, you would have thought the girls had months, rather than the 10 days they
actually used to prepare; it never ceases to amaze me to see what these girls
can accomplish together!
Then they played the most amazing video of
all the girls at the Home singing: "We are the world. We are the
children," which was recorded during their own private studio
session, and video footage showed the girls playing and laughing at the Home,
and dancing together along the beautiful shores of Netanya. It was such a beautiful
film and was a wonderful way to lead into the joyous dancing that
The girls pulled everyone into the circle to
join in the enthusiastic dancing. Everyone was made to feel at home and
welcome, and all I could see was a sea of smiling faces as the bus pulled up to
bring the girls back to the Children’s Home, though I'm sure many were too
excited to sleep!
Thank you all so much for making this night
possible, it was such a special evening that I know I, and the girls are the
Home, will always treasure.”
To sponsor a Bat Mitzvah, click