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Diane Publishing Books
Thirteen and a Day: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Across America
Mark Oppenheimer (au)
Since its emergence here a century ago, the bar or bat mitzvah has become a distinctly American rite of passage. How did this rite, which was of no great importance to Jews in Europe, come to bear such significance in American Jewish life & in American society generally? To answer that question, Oppenheimer set out across the country to attend b’nai mitzvah of all kinds. This is the story of what he found -- & an altogether fresh look at American Jews today. Oppenheimer went afield in the great tradition of literary journalists from Joseph Mitchell to Susan Orlean. The Jews he met & the rites he attended across the country came to form a colorful set of variations on a theme. Part travelogue, part spiritual journey, this is a work of striking originality & insight.
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