WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a tradition for any Jewish boy or girl. It is a right of passage into religious adulthood.
For various reasons, five Wilmington women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s never had one.
"I wasn't ready to get serious - it really is serious," said Micki Jay. "Now that I'm in my mid-60s, I'm quite serious. It's very meaningful to me now. I want to do it."
"A group of us started to say, 'Let's do this,'" said Ellen Balser. "We spoke to the rabbi and he was all for it."
Rita Reibman, Ellen Balser, Rita Katz, Sandy Sharrow, and Micki Jay studied for a year and celebrated their Bat Mitzvah's Saturday at Temple of Israel in Wilmington. Dozens of family members and friends watched as the five women read from the Torah for the first time.
"It's also very special in a group," said Rita Reibman. "Not just the safety part, but it brings us together and ties us together. No matter what happens after Saturday, we've built something very special."
Mazel tov! It was never too late for these five women.