Los Angeles Jewish Health Resident and Holocaust Survivor Celebrates Bat Mitzvah

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Los Angeles Jewish Health Resident and Holocaust Survivor Celebrates Bat Mitzvah, and 92nd Birthday, during 100th Anniversary of the first American to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah

Mar 15, 2022

(RESEDA, CA – March 15, 2022) History will be made at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Thursday, March 18 as beloved resident and Holocaust survivor Frieda Thompson turns 92 on the same day she will be called to Torah for her Bat Mitzvah.

This date also marks the 100th anniversary of when Judith Kaplan, at age twelve, became the first American girl to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah on March 18, 1922.

Frieda Thompson, whose parents were murdered by the Nazis, still recalls that one of her mother’s final actions was to ensure her brother was called to Torah for his Bar Mitzvah even as there was chaos all around.

Frieda studied for her Bat Mitzvah a few years ago, but COVID-19 prevented gathering as a community at that time. Now, with family flying in for the big day, Frieda will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah during the weekly Shabbat Eve. Service, in the Weinberg Courtyard of the Jewish Home, in front of loving family, caring staff, and dozens of fellow Jewish Home residents.

When asked what this day means to her, Frieda offers, “Moses was loyal to his family and to the Jewish people. I too have always felt loyal to my family and the Jewish People.”

In commenting on the significance of this lifetime milestone Rabbi Karen Bender commented, “As a small child, Frieda was forced to raise her hand and call out ‘Heil Hitler’. Today her voice rings out as a cherished leader among her peers.”

Note: Media interested in attending the Service/Bat Mitzvah must be fully vaccinated/boosted/masked – and must RSVP in advance.

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