Kesha Ram, a 25-year-old American woman who is the youngest state legislator in Vermont., has a new achievement to put under her belt: that of her bat mitzvah, which occurred recently at the Western Wall while Ram was visiting Israel on a 10-day tour with Birthright Israel.
Ram, who serves in the Vermont House of Representatives, has a Jewish mother and a Hindu father. Despite her dual background, she has always felt connected to her Judaism, making it a point to mark Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Her Birthright trip, however, was her first opportunity to visit Israel.
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"My bat mitzvah ceremony was held at Jerusalem's Western Wall,where it is really possible to feel God's presence," she said. "I also visited Safed, where I was happy to see commonalities between Judaism and Hinduism."
The bat mitzvah was held late in life for Ram. "Unfortunately, I was unable to celebrate my bat mitzvah at age 12 like other Jewish girls, but even at 25 it's not too late," she said. "It was an amazing experience and very meaningful. I was moved to tears."
Ram was first elected in 2008 at the age of 23. Since then she has managed to win re-election and represents Vermont's Chittenden-3-4 district. In addition to her official government role, Ram is an staunch advocate of women's rights and environmental issues.
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