Keira Gerstley's Bat Mitzvah

Keira Gerstley becomes Bat Mitzvah



My name is Keira Gerstley. I am a 7th grader at Aptos Middle School. I enjoy dancing, singing, sewing, drawing, painting, and writing. I can't believe I'm already having my Bat Mitzvah. I was there when my sister had hers, as well as all her friends. It was a familiar concept, but on its own seemed so far away.

Now it's my turn! I am thrilled to be able to celebrate with all my friends and family, but am admittedly nervous. It's an important time! However, I am eager to be one step closer to my Jewish community, and becoming a Bat Mitzvah.

My Torah portion is Noah and the Ark. I was apprehensive in finding this out, because it is such a well-known story but I feel honored to have the opportunity in sharing my own interpretation in my drash.

Many people know the story of Noah: the animals going in two-by-two, Noah and his family being stuck on a boat while the world is drowned. But there is much more to this story, and I will be going deeper into the topic of good and bad while comparing this biblical story to fairy tales.

I am so grateful to everyone for supporting me, and would like to give a shout-out to my amazing parents and sister, and to my incredible Bat Mitzvah tutor, Ruth Weisberg. I couldn't have done it without you. In addition, I would like to thank our congregation's leader, Rabbi Ain, who helped me think deeper into the philosophical point of view of Noah and the Ark. Those were conversations I'll never forget. I am excited to talk more about this topic, and I hope to help people see a different point of view for this famous narrative.

Thank you so much to everyone for coming to support me on the weekend of my Bat Mitzvah. It is a great time to see relatives and friends who have come to San Francisco especially to celebrate with me and my family. It means so much to me. I look forward to seeing everyone on the day!