“Rabbi, I never expected to be so proud. I go to bar mitzvahs all the time. I never understood what other parents were kvelling about until today. My kid was amazing!” Three years ago, the Kol Tikvah clergy determined that a more systematic approach needed to be taken to create a better process around b’nai […]
Daryl Messinger, change consultant and active lay leader in the Reform Movement, prepared remarks for BMR congregations at the URJ Biennial BMR Intensive session about being a Change Agent. However, Daryl graciously suggested that we cut her remarks from the agenda to allow participants more time with Rabbi Rick Jacobs who was deep in discussion […]
Cantor Melanie Cooperman, Community Synagogue of Rye, spoke about her experience with b’nai mitzvah at the recent URJ Biennial. We sat down with Cantor Cooperman to learn more about her thoughts on revolutionizing b’nai mitzvah in her congregation. Why did you want to join the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution? I sensed that B’nai Mitzvah wasn’t as […]
On her blog, The Accidental Writer, Karen White writes a letter to her daughter explaining the importance of preparing for and becoming bat mitzvah. Although we feel that b’nai mitzvah can happen at any appropriate age (not just 13 years), we find the kind of thoughtful and careful explanation Karen provides for her daughter to […]
It is clear to me that when one of our young people have that “Aha!” moment while studying the Torah, the phrase “Living Judaism” becomes a very real concept, and not just words written underneath the name, “Temple Emanuel.” Rabbi Jonathan Aaron Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills This piece originally appeared in the weekly newsletter […]
What might we learn about revolutionizing B’nai Mitzvah from Akeidat Yitzak (the Binding of Isaac)? Rabbi Daniel Gropper addressed that question on Rosh HaShanah, arguing that the Torah portion we read as we start a new year was intended to be Isaac’s bar mitzvah experience. Like many of my colleagues, I begin thinking about High […]
Action Research has been an important process so far at Temple Beth-El of Hillsborough, NJ. Educator, Sarah Gluck, identifies many ways this this approach to change and research has made a difference in her congregation.
Effective and engaging Hebrew education is possible in part-time educational settings with Hebrew Through Movement. Update: a version of this article is also available on eJewishPhilanthropy.
What happens when a new approach to B’nai Mitzvah preparation is introduced by the rabbi in a family meeting? Rabbi Misha Zinkow writes about one family meeting and how the ‘big reveal’ inspired a shift in attitude and demeanor from sullen to enthusiastic. Rabbi Misha Zinkow Temple Israel, Columbus Ohio It was evident to me […]
This article explores the rising trend of “destination bar mitzvahs”, in which young teens and their families travel far from their synagogue and home communities. “The essence of a bar mitzvah is about becoming part of a community,” Rabbi Bradley Solmsen says. “Destination bar mitzvahs can take you away from that community.” Community is one of […]