A “far out” bar mitzvah video that went viral reminds us of the extravagance and poor taste of some celebrations. But what if the problem is more fundamental? Could how we prepare children and their families for b’nai mitzvah be the root cause? If it is, what can we do to revolutionize b’nai mitzvah preparation? […]
As Judaism loses devout followers and more Bar Mitzvahs focus largely on the over-the-top parties, leaders of Reform Judaism are trying to make Bar Mitzvahs more about faith and celebrating the Jewish community. But how do you change the focus? Hear from Rabbi Bradley Solmsen on HuffPost Live Originally aired on September 9, 2013
The New York Times recognized the work of the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution in a piece featuring co-directors Rabbi Bradley Solmsen and Dr. Isa Aron, and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism. Read the full article on the New York Times website.
What might we learn about revolutionizing B’nai Mitzvah from Akeidat Yitzak (the Binding of Isaac)? Rabbi Daniel Gropper addressed that question on Rosh HaShanah, arguing that the Torah portion we read as we start a new year was intended to be Isaac’s bar mitzvah experience. Like many of my colleagues, I begin thinking about High […]
Action Research has been an important process so far at Temple Beth-El of Hillsborough, NJ. Educator, Sarah Gluck, identifies many ways this this approach to change and research has made a difference in her congregation.
The Salon, hosted by the Jewish Forward’s Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner and Rachel Sklar, founder of Change the Ratio and the Li.st, filmed its anniversary show live at the JCC of Manhattan last week, where the theme was b’nai mitzvah “revolution.” Featured guests discussed bar and bat mitzvah and how we might change the preparation, ceremony, […]
Effective and engaging Hebrew education is possible in part-time educational settings with Hebrew Through Movement. Update: a version of this article is also available on eJewishPhilanthropy.
Action researchers representing three Reform congregations from the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution’s Pilot Cohort were invited to present in a spotlight panel at the Network for Research in Jewish Education’s annual conference held this week in New York. Co-directors Rabbi Bradley Solmsen and Isa Aron, along with BMR researchers Diane T. Schuster and Josh Yarden, convened the […]
What happens when a new approach to B’nai Mitzvah preparation is introduced by the rabbi in a family meeting? Rabbi Misha Zinkow writes about one family meeting and how the ‘big reveal’ inspired a shift in attitude and demeanor from sullen to enthusiastic. Rabbi Misha Zinkow Temple Israel, Columbus Ohio It was evident to me […]
This article explores the rising trend of “destination bar mitzvahs”, in which young teens and their families travel far from their synagogue and home communities. ”The essence of a bar mitzvah is about becoming part of a community,” Rabbi Bradley Solmsen says. “Destination bar mitzvahs can take you away from that community.” Community is one of […]