Melissa and Sarah Albom of Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, celebrated their bat mitzvahs July 20 at Congregation Ner Shalom in Woodbridge. The sisters are the daughters of Jeff and Rhonda Albom of Whangaparaoa, and the granddaughters of Paul and Sandy Sachs of Sun City West, Ariz., and Honey Meitckik of Delray Beach, Fla.
Melissa, 15, and Sarah, 13, traveled from their home in New Zealand to celebrate with their family members who gathered from all over the U.S. Although they studied at their synagogue in Auckland, they frequently Skyped with Rabbi Jennifer Weiner of Ner Shalom. For their mitzvah projects, Sarah volunteered at a wildlife shelter and Melissa helped 5- and 6-year-old scouts.