According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Jewish population has increased to 1.7 million in the State of New York as of last year. And one of the fastest growing Jewish communities can be found in Southampton, NY.
In New York City alone, 78% of households identify themselves as Jewish, according to the New York Times’ report. This now makes Jews the largest religious minority in the city according to the Pew Research Center’s (PRC) 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study.
Next to New York City are Great Neck and Long Island, where Southampton is located. Most Jews in Long Island are practicing modern Orthodox, NY Times added.
The sudden growth of the Jewish community in Long Island is very likely caused by the foundation of The Hampton Synagogue led by Rabbi Marc Schneier, according to the Jerusalem Post. The Rabbi has a large following and has attracted a large Jewish population, which has also resulted to increase of kosher markets and Jewish restaurants. Many social clubs and restaurants, like the Southampton Social Club, in fact offer Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties.
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “Bar Mitzvah” is a combination of Aramaic and Hebrew language, which means “son of the commandment.” On the other hand, “Bat” means daughter in both languages. It is a ceremony that formally marks the transition of a boy at the age of 13 or 12 for girls, to being a ‘real’ Jew or a follower. This can be compared to what Roman Catholics call the second sacrament or the ‘Confirmation’.
The ceremony also marks the Bat/Bar Mitzvah to practice and observe the Jewish commandments. Bar/Bat Mitzvah also serves as a pre-requirement to binding religious contracts and to testify before religious courts and to marry.
In the United States, Jewish population already increased from 5.4 million last 2012 to 6.8 million, last year. They already surpassed the Muslim and Buddhist groups in the country according to PRC’s 2015 demographic study in the U.S. This trend has popularized many Jewish traditions.
For example, another notable Jewish tradition is the Shavuot. Over 3,300 years ago, God gave the Torah, or the Jewish bible, to the Jews on Mount Sinai. On the holiday of Shavuot, which is celebrated every year, Jews ‘renew’ their acceptance of God’s gift and God re-gives the Torah.
In Southampton, NY the celebration of Shavuot was held last May 23rd to 25th at Chabad of Southampton Jewish Center.