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One hundred Jewish boys and girls from across Europe celebrated their bar and bat mitzvahs Thursday at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

One day earlier, they were feted at a banquet held in their honor at Zedekiah’s Cave.


They were joined by both of Israel’s Chief Rabbis, Rishon Lezion, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, as well as MK Yoav Ben Tzur; Deputy Mayors of Jerusalem Tzvika Cohen and Moshe Leon; Chief Rabbi of Paris Raabbi Yirmiya Cohen; Chairman of the Ministry of Religion Oded Fluss; directors of the Center of European Rabbis; and sponsors Mr. Rami Levy and Mr. Moti Sonnenfeld.

Throughout their week-long trip, the youths visited religious, sacred and historic sites and tourist attractions around Israel in a tour intended to provide a unique opportunity to strengthen their personal bond with Jewish tradition, the State and people of Israel.

The celebrants, who hailed from Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Hungary, France and Spain, were accompanied by rabbis from their respective Jewish communities and a native speaker of their language was attached to each group.

The trip to Israel and the bar and bat mitzvah celebrations were sponsored by the Morasha Department of Center of European Rabbis, with generous support and assistance by Moti Sonnenfeld and the Danielle Sonnenfeld Foundation.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.