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Boy Becomes Man: A Jewish 'Coming of Age' in Kyrgyzstan


Staff Writer, Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, November 16, 2004
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan Members of the Jewish community of Bishkek had a splendid occasion for celebration, as they gathered to witness a remarkable event in the life of one boy and in the life of the Jewish community itself. Mordechai Shleifer, who now has the right to be called a 'young man' within the Jewish community, just marked his Bar Mitzva.

Mordechai conscientiously recognizes the accountability he will now have as a grown-up in the Jewish community. "I am now an adult and understand that I must do my part in helping out in the community," affirmed Mordechai.

Participants in the event mainly comprised the relatives and friends of the Shleifer family, as well as members of the Jewish congregation in Bishkek. The approximately 40 guests enjoyed a festive meal following the Bar Mitzva ceremony.

The Youth Club, under the leadership of the country's Chief Rabbi Arie Raichman and the Chairman of the Jewish community in Bishkek, Vyacheslav Mataev, endeavor to prepare young Jews for their Bat and Bar Mitzva and to help them learn more about other cultural and religious elements of Judaism.

Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Global Jews, Global Judaism