Alexandra Gerstley's Bat Mitzvah

AlexGerstleyShalom! My name is Alexandra (Alex) Gerstley, and I am a 7th grader at Presidio Middle School.

My favorite things to do are hang out with my friends, bake, ride my bike, and try DIYs. My favorite subject at school is science, and I play the trombone in the Presidio Panther band. I also swim on a team, which is a lot of fun.

I am excited to read from the Torah for the first time, and to officially become a member of the Jewish community. I am so happy that I will be sharing this special occasion with all of you -- family, friends, and members of Congregation Beth Sholom. I am also looking forward to the second half of my bat mitzvah celebration, when we visit my family in Israel over the summer. This will be my first trip there, and I'm very excited to learn about the country.

My parsha is P'kudei, which is the re-cap of the building of the Mishkan, the portable synagogue of ancient times. In this parsha, we learn how the Mishkan was created, which materials were used, and why they had to be so specific. We also learn what purpose it served.

I'd like to thank Rabbi Glazer, who helped me understand my parsha and write my drash. I enjoyed our conversations about the Mishkan. I want to thank my tutor, Ruth Weisberg, for teaching me to read trope and for helping me prepare for this occasion. I also want to thank my mom, dad, sister, and dog for their love, support, and encouragement throughout the year.

I look forward to celebrating with you this Shabbat!