Miami, FL (May 12, 2009) – With support from Targum Shlishi, the Jerusalem-based organization ITIM: The Jewish Life Information Center created the recently launched web-based project, “The Virtual Celebration of the Birth of a Daughter,” a resource that allows families to develop standardized Simchat Bat and Zeved Habat ceremonies to welcome newborn girls into the community.
Through the website, parents explore various traditions and ceremonies related to the birth of a daughter, build their own ritual, and can then upload their ceremony to the ITIM website for other parents to review. The web resource is available at eng.itim.org.il.
This online resource builds on a ITIM’s previously published manual, “It’s a Girl: Traditions, Customs and Ceremonies,” which, like the website, was a response to the increasing interest in the Simchat Bat and Zeved Habat ceremonies expressed in the past decade as thousands of families began celebrating the birth of their Jewish daughter in a ritual manner.
The web resource is functional both in Hebrew and in Hebrew with English translation and allows parents to develop their own ceremony by choosing various modules. The ceremony is automatically assembled and e-mailed to the parents.
Targum Shlishi has had a long-time interest in the development of accessible Simchat Bat ceremonies as part of its core focus on women’s issues, and assembled a manual of the Simchat Bat ceremony held on the occasion of Maya Rubin’s birth in 1996, available for downloading from its website.
“Now Jewish families all over the world have easy access to ways in which to welcome a baby girl in a Jewish ritual manner,” says Aryeh Rubin, director of Targum Shlishi. “As a father of three girls, I have long been an advocate of the development by the traditional Jewish community of a ceremony that welcomes infant girls. ITIM has done a wonderful job of utilizing technology to enhance Jewish ritual life for what is sure to be thousands of families all over the world.”
ITIM’s website has received very positive response so far, with people praising the balance between classical and modern texts and providing feedback to ITIM that the site was “just what they were looking for” and that “they couldn’t have done it without the website.” It has also received media attention, including a recent article in the magazine Horim Ve’Yeladim (Parent and Child).
ITIM is a young organization (founded in 2002) dedicated to making Jewish life accessible and empowering Jews in their experience of Jewish lifecycle events. ITIM provides information and direction at critical lifecycle moments such as birth, bar/bat mitzvah, marriage, divorce, death and burial, and conversion. ITIM has developed several web-based resources intended to help Jews worldwide with Jewish lifecycle events. Go here to access ITIM’s website, with its web-based resources.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi, a Raquel and Aryeh Rubin Foundation, is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website.