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You Can’t Bat Mitzvah Your Daughter or Bar Mitzvah Your Son

DJ’s and photographers (and many rabbis) are not going to like this, but the truth needs to be said … In order to be Bat Mitzvahed there is one requirement; on the eve of your 12th birthday, you need to take a breath. That is it. There is nothing we can do to make it […]

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Revolutionizing B’nai Mitzvah: Temple Kol Tikvah

“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 […]

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Creating a Culture of Change: A Change Agent’s Perspective

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 […]

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Revolutionizing B’nai Mitzvah: A Conversation with Cantor Melanie Cooperman

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 […]

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Why You’re Having a Bat Mitzvah: An Open Letter to My Daughter

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 […]

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“Living Judaism” in the Flesh

 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 […]

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Isaac’s Failed Bar Mitzvah

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 […]

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Action Research in the BMR: One Congregation’s Story

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.

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Teaching “The Impossible” with Hebrew Through Movement

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.

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Observations from a Bar Mitzvah Family Meeting at Temple Israel, Columbus, Ohio

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 […]

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