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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B’nai Mitzvah for Do-It-Yourself Jews

“I would argue that we are seeing a b’nai mitzvah evolution as unaffiliated families seek to put their unique stamp on b’nai mitzvah, which are no less important Jewish milestones to them than to families who belong to synagogues.” Read about how one congregant and his family are thinking about the “do-it-yourself” b’nai mitzvah. Read […]

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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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Revolutionizing the Bar/Bat Mitzvah

A “far out” bar mitzvah video that went viral reminds us of the extravagance and poor taste of some celebrations. But what if the problem is more fundamental? Could how we prepare children and their families for b’nai mitzvah be the root cause? If it is, what can we do to revolutionize b’nai mitzvah preparation? […]

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From HuffPost Live: Oy Gevalt: Reinventing the Bar Mitzvah

As Judaism loses devout followers and more Bar Mitzvahs focus largely on the over-the-top parties, leaders of Reform Judaism are trying to make Bar Mitzvahs more about faith and celebrating the Jewish community. But how do you change the focus? Hear from Rabbi Bradley Solmsen on HuffPost Live Originally aired on September 9, 2013

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Bar Mitzvahs Get New Look to Build Faith

The New York Times recognized the work of the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution in a piece featuring co-directors Rabbi Bradley Solmsen and Dr. Isa Aron, and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism. Read the full article on the New York Times website.

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