Search results for: Bar Mitzvah
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Autobiographies of B’nai Mitzvah: The Meaning of B’nai Mitzvah and the Role Adolescents Believe Adults Play in the Process
B’nai mitzvah are a significant motivation for engagement in Jewish education. Professionals and families devote resources in aiding young people in becoming b’nai mitzvah. This article examines the adolescent narratives of b’nai mitzvah and the ways in which adults feature in their stories. Their accounts surface a belief that adults support them through pep talks, expressions of pride, helping them make choices, and being with them through the process. Teens see themselves responsible for their choices and achievements, but are appreciative of support. This article raises questions about what ways and by whom adolescents should be guided and supported.
Updated: Aug. 18, 2020
Families play a critical role in shaping children’s orientation to Judaism, and decisions about Jewish education are made within the family unit. However, in most studies of Jewish education, individual students or parents serve as the unit of analysis, with families being omitted or relegated to the background. In this paper, I foreground the family through an ethnographic study to illustrate the complex negotiations that occur between family members about involvement in Hebrew school post b’nai mitzvah.
Updated: Mar. 27, 2019
Interested in encouraging your students to explore their Jewish roots? Are you preparing your students for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Check out this new Family History Project!
Updated: Feb. 13, 2019
This is a free resource which Areyvut has developed to help celebrants, families and educators craft meaningful and personalized Mitzvah Projects. We encourage you to use this resource and to share it with family, friends and colleagues. In the following pages, you will find a guide created to help make your Bnai Mitzvah experience as meaningful as possible. It will demonstrate how to find meaning in your project before, during and after your service and/or party. It will give you some specific project ideas, as well as guidelines to help you reflect on your experience. Following the steps in this guide will lead to a truly meaningful Mitzvah Project.
Updated: Jul. 04, 2018
This article is an anthropological history of the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony in the Yishuv and Israel of the 1940s and the 1950s, when this ceremony radically grew in terms of the space, time, and economic resources devoted to it, as well as expanded to include girls. To explain that shift, I suggest distinguishing classic rites of initiation from the system of life-cycle ceremonies typical of modern consumer culture, which emphasizes the transition between temporal markers rather than social statuses and imposes no task on the birthday celebrant.
Updated: May. 16, 2018
What if a B’nai Mitzvah project could make a lasting change in the world? That’s what Clara Rotter-Laitman questioned as she embarked on her Jewish Learning Opportunity through the Avodah Justice Fellowship in Chicago. Together with illustrator Kayla Ginsburg, Clara created a “zine,” a homemade magazine, for Jewish students and educators to help in creating more meaningful B’nai Mitzvah projects.
Updated: Aug. 30, 2017
B’nai Mitzvah Family Journey is a year-long pilot program for Russian speaking parents and their Bar/Bat Mitzvah aged children customized for the needs of the Russian-speaking Jewish families. This year-long program offers its participants an immersive, multifaceted experience so children and parents can learn together about the history, significance, traditions, and rituals of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah as well as main Jewish topics through a culturally sensitive lens and in the comfort of a like-minded community.
Updated: Oct. 05, 2016
“He had a Ceremony—I had a Party”: Bar Mitzvah Ceremonies vs. Bat Mitzvah Parties in Israeli Culture
This article analyzes the gender differences in what the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies mean for the teens and their parents by surveying how they are depicted in popular Israeli culture since the mandate period until yesteryear. Relying on the classical anthropological assumption that ceremonies are a key to understanding a society, such a study can shed light on important aspects of the relationships between religion, consumer culture, and ethnic and national identity, on both individual and family levels. I will specifically argue that the gender difference in the popular depictions of bar and bat mitzvah discloses dominant patrilineal tendencies in current Israeli Judaism at the grassroots level.
Updated: Sep. 12, 2016
Recently, NCSY released a new Bar Mitzvah infographic! It explains the basics of what it means to become a Bar Mitzvah, analyzes the phrase “Bar Mitzvah,” explores why we make a big celebration, and provides an overview of tefillin. It also offers a deeper look at tefillin. All in all, this is a great infographic to be aware of and share with your students and congregants of all ages! Likewise, you may suggest that people print this infographic and distribute to the guests coming to a Bar Mitzvah celebration.
Updated: Dec. 30, 2015
In the first of a series of research reports, the Community Foundation for Jewish Education of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago looks at the rising trend in families forgoing congregational education and/or membership while preparing and conducting their own bar/bat mitzvah ceremonies for their children. “CFJE Reports: A Closer Look at Independent B’nai Mitzvah in the Chicagoland Area” authored by Abigail Pickus, provides a snapshot of this trend, offering a glimpse inside the motivations of families who undertake this process, the tutors and clergy who assist them, and the synagogue professionals who struggle with the loss of these families to the congregational community.
Updated: Dec. 09, 2015