Source: Jewish Week
A growing number of parents are opting for home-based Jewish learning as an attractive and convenient alternative to synagogue-based Hebrew schools. This article tries to explain why this trend is becoming popular.
One reason is certainly the cost barrier, since many synagogues usually require a minimum of two to three years of enrollment and temple membership before allowing students to celebrate their bar/bat mitzvah. Another reason is that some parents simply had bad experiences themselves in Hebrew school and want to give their children something different. Other families feel that home-based programs enable them to obtain a more personalized education for their child in less time, with more flexibility and on a more convenient schedule than they would in a congregational program.
In order to meet this need a number of for-profit and nonprofit resources are springing up. Organizations like Rabbi Reuben Modek's Hebrew Learning Circles provide home based tutoring on a one – on – one or small group basis, coming to the students homes once or twice a week. They provide tailor –made learning programs for youngsters, bar/bat mizvah age and older kids and even for adults.
Such home-based programs aren’t the only option for those seeking alternate routes to bar and bat mitzvah: in many neighborhoods Chabad helps families arrange personalized courses of study and inexpensive ceremonies in the Orthodox tradition.
In some communities, established communal synagogues see home tutored bar/bat mitzvah's as a challenge to community classes and even refuse to allow home – schooled kids to have their ceremonies there.