You Can’t Wear That on the Bima! Unlocking the Bat Mitzvah Dress Code

Ma’yan Program Director Talia Cooper and Consultant Andrea Jacobs will be presenting at NewCAJE, a conference about Jewish education, in Los Angeles, CA.

Most non-Orthodox communities have either unspoken expectations or stated rules about “appropriate dress” for bar and bat mitzvah youth. Dress codes often focus heavily on what girls can and can’t wear, sending particular messages about gender to both boys and girls.

In this session, we’ll discuss how gender issues and hidden sexism impact kids’ experiences of getting dressed, and what adults can do to support them. We’ll watch and discuss a short made by Jewish teen girls as part of the Ma’yan Filmmaking Intensive, in which the girls tackle questions and expectations surrounding Bat Mitzvah attire. Participants will leave with a set of tools designed to open dialogue about the underlying issues that might be driving adult and teen positions about “What to Wear.”