TO BE THIRTEEN

To be thirteen is to stand between two worlds: the past of childhood and the promise of adulthood. Adolescence is the bridge between them. Crossing that bridge can be, at times, precarious and painful. An important aspect of becoming a bar/bat mitzvah at Congregation Ner Shalom is that the experience provides our young people with the kinds of skills and experiences (e.g., discipline, self-reliance, self-trust, capacity for abstract thinking) they will need to navigate a path to a meaningful adult religious life.

Ner Shalom's Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program seeks to maintain high standards. Our students are expected to acquire a significant amount of Jewish learning and competency. In leading a worship service, working with a tutor over an extended period of time, studying with the rabbi, giving a speech, etc. our students are asked to meet adult demands.

The program is designed to cultivate a student's capacity for critical and creative thinking. Through focused engagement with Jewish texts (Torah, midrash, prayers) and interaction with the tutor, rabbi, b'nei mitzvah coordinator and others the program helps the student reach is greatest potential- personally, spiritually, morally.

If a child seeks only to get his or her bar/bat mitzvah "over with", the congregation has failed in its mission. It is our sincere hope that this concentrated period of study foster a thirst for Jewish learning that will be an abiding source of personal strength.

More information is provided in Congregation Ner Shalom's B'Nai Mitzvah Handbook.

Tue, August 22 2017 30 Av 5777