Mazel Tov to JCA Bnai Mitzvahs

Last Updated 5/17/2024In Current

Adam Vigderman

Adam Vigderman will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on June 1st. My name is Adam Vigderman. I'm in 7th grade at Williston where I am very happy. I have been going to Kesher since I was very young. I have two older brothers, Aaron and Danny, who are the best! My parents are Robert and Rachel. I go to Berkshire Hills Eisenberg, a Jewish Camp where my brothers also  went and now work at. I love to bike, swim, listen to music, and play games with my friends. I also love sunny weather and I love to laugh. I enjoy running track and Basketball. I have been drumming for six years and hope to not lose the skill. At my previous school Lander Grinspoon Academy I learned how to read Hebrew and chant torah, which are both valuable skills required for my bar mitzvah, on June 1st.

Ella Maier

Ella Maier, daughter of Bri and Marc Maier, will be called to the Torah on Saturday, June 29, 2024. She has been a part of the JCA Community and Kesher for the past eight years. Ella is a 7th grade student at Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School. She loves playing sports and is a member of the PVCICS Dragons’ Cross Country team, Nordic Ski team, and Ultimate Frisbee team. She also enjoys hiking and biking around the Valley. When she’s not outside, Ella loves reading (high fantasy, especially), and is an endlessly hopeful, enthusiastic New York Mets fan. A dual citizen of Belgium, she also has a passion for chocolate in all its forms. Ella lives in Amherst with her parents, younger siblings Max and Sophie, and her favorite furball cat, Saphira. She would like to thank her incredible Bat Mitzvah tutor, Ruth Love Barer, for her steady guidance and unwavering encouragement over the past year and a half as she prepared for this special milestone. She would also like to thank Rabbi Weiner, for his support and assistance as well, and she is grateful to all the wonderful Kesher teachers and staff who have inspired and encouraged her along the way.

Saul Hirshberg

Saul Hirshberg will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on May 4th. Saul is a seventh grader at the Academy at Charlemont. He has been a JCA Kesher student since 2021. Saul is passionate about music, especially jazz. He is a drummer and also loves composing electronic music. Other interests of Saul’s include website coding and hiking. Saul has also really enjoyed learning how to read Torah and is grateful to his tutor, Felicia Sloin for helping him to prepare for his Bar Mitzvah, and making it fun!  Saul lives in Amherst with his parents Leah and Alex, his sister Nina, and his dog Layla.

Kaelyn Brunton

Kaelyn Brunton, daughter of Deborah Rosenbloom and sister of Jayden, will be called to the Torah on the occasion of her Bnai Mitzvah on February 10, the 1st of Adar 57854.  She will read from Parashat Mishpatim, Numbers 28:9-28:15.  Kaelyn has been a student at the JCA for many years and appreciates the valuable education and varied programming designed by devoted director Keren Rhodes and her many wonderful teachers, in collaboration with Rabbi Ben.  Kaelyn further enjoyed her Jewish education by attending Camp Shemesh since the first grade preparing her for her Tikkun Olam project - הדור פני זקן – Hiddur P’Nai Zaken – Honoring the Elderly AND Loving Your Fellow as Yourself (AKA chesed, kindness). Kaelyn chose to help and learn from the older adult community, spending half an hour weekly at a local nursing home talking with, playing games with, listening to older adult’s stories, and just being present.  

Kaelyn is currently a seventh grader at Amherst Regional Middle School in Amherst.  In her free time, she is a voracious reader, avid vegan chef, and creator of unique Lego structures.  She would like to thank her tutors Aza Wolfwood and Ruth Love Barer, Rabbi Ben, her cohort and especially her family for helping her prepare for her Bnai Mitzvah

Tabari Mann and Tovah DelPrete

Tabari (TJ) Mann, son of Aleah Nesteby, Felicia Galica and Shanna Delprete, will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Saturday October 7, the 22nd of Tishrei, 5784. He will be reading from the maftir, Numbers 29:35-30:1. TJ lives in Belchertown and is a student at Belchertown High School. He has been attending JCA classes since 2nd grade and says that the Wednesday Kesher classes were his favorite part. TJ loves sports of all kinds—in the past year alone he has played basketball, lacrosse, soccer and Ultimate. Currently he is co-captain of his soccer team and is looking forward to basketball season. TJ also plays trumpet in the BHS marching and concert band. TJ lives with his adoptive mom, 2 brothers and 1 sister, and has a loving network of birth family in Western MA.


Tovah DelPrete, daughter of Aleah Nesteby and Shanna DelPrete, will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah on Saturday October 7, the 22nd of Tishrei, 5784. She will be reading from the maftir, Numbers 29:35-30:1. Tovah lives in Belchertown and is a student at Jabish Brook Middle School. She has attended JCA classes since preschool. She has particularly enjoyed the Better Together program, in which she and her b’nai mitzvah class regularly met with JCA elders to share experiences and perspectives. Tovah would like to become either a midwife or an OB/GYN. She has already been studying midwifery textbooks for the past few years, to the amazement—and sometimes bemusement--of her teachers at school. Tovah is a part of the Eden Village Camp community and loves her time there. Tovah has 3 brothers and has reluctantly watched the Captain Underpants movie more times than she can count.

Althea Turner

Althea Turner, daughter of Jen and Brad Turner will be called to the Torah on June 10th 2023. They have been a student at the JCA since they could remember. They are in the seventh grade attending PVCICS (Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School). Althea spends most of their free time drawing, watching “The Walking Dead" or “Dance Moms". When they aren’t sitting down you can find them on the streets of Western Massachusetts running with their older brother Gaius. They live with their parents, brother, dog Asbury and very annoyingly adorable cats Sullivan and Dagger in Belchertown Massachusetts. 

Rose Abel-Zucker

Rose Abel-Zucker will be called to the Torah as a B’nai Mitzvah on May 20th, reading from Bamidbar. Rose began attending JCA in sixth grade and is now a seventh grader at the Williston Northampton School where they play ultimate frisbee. In their free time, they enjoy reading, writing, listening to music and playing guitar. They practice kung fu at Spirit of the Heart and have earned a gold sash. They are grateful to Rabbi Ben Weiner for guidance on their d’var torah and to Marlene Rachelle, who has been tutoring them this year. Rose is the child of Heather Abel and Adam Zucker and the younger sibling of Susannah Abel-Zucker. 

Edie Bacal

Edie Bacal is an eighth grader at JFK Middle School. She started attending JCA in 7th grade when she joined the B'nai Mitzvah class.  In her free time she enjoys playing basketball, running, and walking downtown with her friends. She also loves playing with her dogs, Lily and Trixie. She lives with her parents Jessica, and Joe, and her brother Elijah. She is grateful for the support of her tutor, Felicia Sloin, Rabbi Weiner, and her whole family.

Noa Lynn Rhodes

Noa Lynn Rhodes will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah on April 1st, reading from parashat Tzav. Noa has been attending Kesher and Camp Shemesh at the JCA since she was three years old and has attended Camp Ramah in Palmer for four summers. She is excited to welcome her camp friends, JCA peers, family, and the entire community as they join her at the JCA for her Bat Mitzvah. She is currently in the seventh grade at Amherst Regional Middle School, and particularly enjoys science and art class. She loves to play outside, and can often be found climbing a tree or catching a frog in warmer weather. Noa lives in Amherst with her parents, Nick and Keren Rhodes, brother, Aiden, and a menagerie of animals (3 dogs, a cat, a guinea pig, and 2 bunnies). We would like to express our deep gratitude to Noa’s tutor, Ruth Love Barer, for her guidance, support, and love over the past year.
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