BEACHWOOD, Ohio, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Ten Jewish women ranging in age from 89 to 96 said they are preparing for their long-overdue bnot mitzvah at a Beachwood, Ohio, synagogue.
The women, residents of an independent living facility on the campus of Menorah Park Center for Senior Living, said when they were 12-years-olds, the traditional age for a bat mitzvah, the only coming-of-age ritual in their Jewish communities was the bar mitzvah for boys, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Tuesday.
"All through history, boys and men got the better deal," said one of the women, Evelyn Bonder, 90. "But today that has changed."
Bonder and the others are scheduled to celebrate their bnot mitzvah March 22 at the Menorah Park Synagogue. They said they have been practicing for the ceremony every Monday since September.
"It's the oldest bat mitzvah group, I would venture to say, in the entire country," said Rabbi Howard Kutner, who is preparing the women for the ritual. "This is very special, very unique. The message here is it's never too late. At any age you can accept a challenge and you can do it."