Kitty Stander Moy “pushed herself to her limits” to have a batmitzvah ceremony at the New London Synagogue, St John’s Wood.
The 13-year-old from Stoke Newington has Down’s syndrome, which makes communication and understanding difficult.
Kitty’s parents had fretted about her ability to get through her dvar Torah.
“We said to each other, ‘it’s very long’”, recalled her father Daniel Stander.
“But we were so glad we pushed her. It was hard for her, of course. But it set the bar high and she achieved it, which gives her the confidence to go further.”
Kitty spent more than 18 months working towards her big day with teacher Angela Gluck.
“It has been wonderful to see her grow in body, mind and spirit,” said Mrs Gluck, who has known Kitty since she was a baby. “I feel very proud to have been her teacher.
“Her dvar Torah was great and there were so many important and beautiful ideas in it.” Mr Stander added: “Kitty has to work twice as hard as everyone else and often gets half the results, which is quite sad. Her batmitzvah was a chance for her to feel really proud. We told her how amazing it was that she did it. She sort of just shrugged it off. When we asked her if she was nervous, she said ‘no, I’m just happy’.”
Kitty said: “I’ve had my ups and downs but I think it went well.”