Letters for Devorie: Pen Pals and Bat Mitzvah Twins

Letters for Devorie: Pen Pals and Bat Mitzvah Twins

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017


In a simpler time, pen pal relationships delighted children around the world.  One child would write a letter (on paper, in his/her own handwriting) to someone he/she had never before met, and the recipient would reciprocate.  With every letter delivered, the children would learn about language arts, social studies and geography, whether they realized it or not.  Week after week, the two strangers would become friends, developing deep relationships thanks to their detailed correspondence.

Unfortunately, pen pal relationships are rare in the age of social media, texting and e-mail.  But Chaviva, a young resident of the United Kingdom, decided to revive the practice in order to forge a relationship with her “Bat Mitzvah Twin” Devorie, a resident of ALEH’s rehabilitative facility in Jerusalem.  Chaviva’s first letter to Devorie is equal parts adorable and inspiring.

On the one hand, her innocence and excitement make us nostalgic for our own childhoods.  On the other, her desire to connect with Devorie – to “walk the walk” of disability inclusion at such a young age – is an objective worth emulating.

This is what becoming a Bat Mitzvah is all about!