Posted on June 20, 2012
This article titled, “URJ Overhauling The Bar/ Bat Mitzvah,” stressed the importance of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony being understood as more than a “terminal degree, which it is now.” A Bar/Bat Mitzvah should be more than a means to an end and Rabbi Laura Geller understands that. Rabbi Geller, who has been working with teenagers and their parents to make their Bar and Bat Mitzvah meaningful to them, “said that unfortunately, for ‘far too many’ liberal Jews, bar or bat mitzvah ‘is the goal of Jewish education,’ marking the end of the process rather than the onset of a path to a life of Jewish inquiry and learning.” Everyone wants to do things that they find meaningful and purposeful. Teenagers, especially around their Bar/Bat Mitzvah time need to be shown the importance of their Judaism and the relevance it has to their lives. This article also shows the understanding that volunteer/community service is essential in making Judaism meaningful to teenagers. Areyvut appreciates the work the URJ is doing in reaching out to the teens who are at risk of quitting their exploration of Judaism post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah day. May we all work together to show teens the relevance and beauty of their Jewish roots.