According to tradition, God gave Rosh Hodesh (the first day of each Hebrew month, which begins on the new moon) to women as a special holiday because they refused to help build the Golden Calf. Now, through an organization called Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing, groups of girls are meeting every month in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and Baltimore to celebrate together.
The project was created through Kolot, which is a center for Jewish women's studies, and the groups are for all Jewish girls in sixth through ninth grade. At a typical meeting, according to project director Mindy Shapiro, the girls make crafts, munch food, talk, study Jewish topics, and "feel comfortable, Jewish, and good" about themselves. As Mindy says, "It's a great opportunity to hang out with other girls, and to talk about the things girls care about."
Elana Baurer, an eighth-grade participant, agrees. "Girls understand each other so well," she says. "We know the problems we face and we can help each other get through them."
Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing will be expanding throughout the country soon. Log on to babaganewz.com to discover how you can start a Rosh Hodesh group in your area and why Rosh Hodesh is special for girls and women.