My favorite thing about being Jewish is the community that we have. Whenever I am at temple, or at the religious school retreat, and around my Jewish friends, I am always so happy and feel like myself. Being Jewish is a part of me that will never leave me.
To me, becoming a Bat Mitzvah means growing up and becoming a Jewish adult. Being a Jewish adult means I am supposed to follow all the commandments and want to go to temple, not be forced to by my parents (even though my parents never had to force me to go). In this process, I learned that even though at one point I was nervous and scared for this day to come, the closer I got, the less stress I had for it, and I became more excited – my tutors and teachers and everyone who helped me get here helped me realize that.
My mitzvah project was feeding the homeless and helping those in need. For my birthday party, instead of having gifts I asked people to bring water and toothbrushes and things everyone needs, and we made blessing bags for those who are less fortunate and passed them out. Through that process, I learned that sometimes, helping other people find happy moments and seeing them happy is the extra step we need to find happiness ourselves.
To continue learning about Judaism and living with it, I will keep going to services, apply to be a madricha next year, and join Jewish youth organizations.
Eve Weiss is the daughter of Brian and Brooke Weiss. She is the sister of Hannah Rose and Sarah Helen Weiss. She is the granddaughter of Allen and Honorine Weiss of Jackson, MS and James and Ruth Gianelloni of New Orleans, LA, and Larry and Stephanie Hawke of Tuscon, AZ. Send notes of mazal tov.