Visit http://english.thekotel.org/. Note the section header “Bar/Bat Mitzva”. Click on it. Search the entire section for any mention of celebration of a Bat Mitzva ceremony at the Kotel. If you find one, let me know, because I sure couldn’t. I’ve therefore just sent the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the owners of the site, a message indicating that although my family has supported them in the past, we will refrain from doing so in the future.
I responded as follows:
I complained to the WWHF and got this back:
It used to depend on whether you want to have a Torah service, but things have gotten rather more strict than that.
I would have them, e.g.:
There are probably other suggestions I could come up with, but the basic idea is that they should do something to acknowledge that there is a place for a Bat Mitzva ritual, at the kotel, for people who feel that such a ritual is culturally appropriate.
And, incidentally, given what I’ve heard recently, I am not at all convinced that the WWHF would permit a girl to give a d’var torah as part of a formal Bat Mitzva in the women’s section.
Well, what would you have them do? There is no official ceremony for a bat mitzvah in the Orthodox community. I gave a d’var torah at mine, but I don’t see that special arrangements need to be made for doing that at the wall, if someone wanted to.
Well, what’s the official current status of having a Bat Mitzvah at the Kotel? It seems to depend on whether or not you want to have a Torah service. Maybe they’re just trying to avoid the topic entirely as it would be sure to be inflammatory towards most – frummies and feminists.
So it does. But that’s really not good enough. In fact, it’s worse… By mentioning Bat Mitzva celebrations only in the context of the tunnel tour, the maintainers of the site make it clear that they don’t think there is or should be any ritual component of a Bat Mitzva celebration, at least not at the Kotel.
The tunnel tour mentions Bat Mitzvah… http://english.thekotel.org/content.asp?id=37