B'nei Mitzvah Experience

THE SAJ B’NEI MITZVAH EXPERIENCE

Celebrating as a Family

An innovative two year program

 

Goals

To connect this Jewish ritual event to the life of your family

To connect to the SAJ community, both your class and the whole synagogue

To increase your Jewish literacy

 

The change from childhood to adolescence on the way to adulthood is marked in Judaism by the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony. Other life cycle ceremonies are attended by the family and its guests such as weddings or ritual circumcision and often take place outside of synagogues. On the other hand, the bar/t mitzvah takes place in the context of the larger Jewish community that is the Shabbat synagogue service.  This is appropriate because the event marks the child now being able to be a full participant in the ritual practice of the Jewish people---to be a Jewish adult.  The Jewish past represented by the Torah, the present by the congregants, and the future by the child all come together in this moment. Yet, it is also a moment in the life cycle of the family. The past is represented by deceased ancestors and by living grandparents, the present by the parents and their friends, and the future by the child and her or his friends.

 

Both in the service that day and in what leads up to it, at SAJ we want to not just assist you through this moment in your life, but to provide resources to help you find ways to enhance it. The passage of adolescence is not an easy one for adolescents or their parents. Leaving childhood, exploring independence, emerging sexuality, the challenge of peer relationships, parents recognizing the passage of time, relationships to Judaism are just some of the challenges of this period. Infused with the wisdom of Judaism, we will create a variety of opportunities when your child is in 6th and 7th grades to discuss, learn about, and explore these challenges.

 

We also think that the experience of the bar or bat mitzvah will be enhanced if it involves the whole family, especially the parents. There are two main ways we will encourage that involvement: 1) a family D’var Torah (tish)--a talk about the Torah portion before services on that day; 2) parent participation in designing and implementing a B’nei Mitzvah Bucket List related specifically to your family’s Jewish journey at SAJ and in the wider Jewish community.

 

Year One Programs

 

 

Thursday, May 25 2017 29 Iyar 5777