Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition



First formal batmitzvah at Lions Shul




Sarah Jacobson, currently a pupil at Roedean School, decided to hold her batmitzvah ceremony at the shul where her family had found a special place among the unique congregation who meet every Shabbat morning at 06:00 around the corner from Ellis Park Rugby Stadium.

Together with her batmitzvah teacher, Ronit Janet, Sarah began her spiritual journey from girlhood to womanhood. They completed the syllabus of the Roots Batmitzvah Programme as well as making challah with Sarah’s twin sisters Rachel and Gabrielle and helping pack food parcels during the Chevrah Kadisha’s annual Pesach pack.

Sarah’s batmitzvah was so special that the entire service began at 08:30 as opposed to the steadfast 06:00. With the direction of their community leader, Rav Ilan Herrmann, a large turnout of regulars and guests enjoyed the rich singing, the camaraderie and cheers from both the left and right side of the shul and profound words of Torah and insights as delivered by the batmitzvah girl herself.

With such a turnout, it was as if it was a return to the heydays of Doornfontein. The food served after the service included herrings and mock crayfish of old, but catered for the modern taste buds with sushi and salads.

This special Shabbat proved to be indicative of the passage of time and gradual evolution of the role of women in our community. Albeit in keeping with all strictures adherent to Orthodoxy under the watchful eye of Rav Herrmann, Doornfontein of old though may not have celebrated batmitzvahs in such a formal way. But this is a new day!

Said Rav Herrmann: “I’m so proud of Sarah who displays at her tender age the precious qualities of her namesake our matriarch Sarah Imeinu, those of grace, inner and outer beauty and a propensity for kindness and compassion.

“Most poignant was her reading in English of Psalm 121 as her scriptural choice, praying for Israel and the soldiers of the IDF at this time of need.”


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.