Creating a Culture of Change: A Change Agent’s Perspective

Daryl Messinger, change consultant and active lay leader in the Reform Movement, prepared remarks for BMR congregations at the URJ Biennial BMR Intensive session about being a Change Agent. However, Daryl graciously suggested that we cut her remarks from the agenda to allow participants more time with Rabbi Rick Jacobs who was deep in discussion […]

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Revolutionizing B’nai Mitzvah: A Conversation with Cantor Melanie Cooperman

Cantor Melanie Cooperman, Community Synagogue of Rye, spoke about her experience with b’nai mitzvah at the recent URJ Biennial. We sat down with Cantor Cooperman to learn more about her thoughts on revolutionizing b’nai mitzvah in her congregation.  Why did you want to join the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution? I sensed that B’nai Mitzvah wasn’t as […]

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Why You’re Having a Bat Mitzvah: An Open Letter to My Daughter

On her blog, The Accidental Writer, Karen White writes a letter to her daughter explaining the importance of preparing for and becoming bat mitzvah. Although we feel that b’nai mitzvah can happen at any appropriate age (not just 13 years), we find the kind of thoughtful and careful explanation Karen provides for her daughter to […]

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“Living Judaism” in the Flesh

 It is clear to me that when one of our young people have that “Aha!” moment while studying the Torah, the phrase “Living Judaism” becomes a very real concept, and not just words written underneath the name, “Temple Emanuel.” Rabbi Jonathan Aaron Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills This piece originally appeared in the weekly newsletter […]

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Revolutionizing the Bar/Bat Mitzvah

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? […]

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From HuffPost Live: Oy Gevalt: Reinventing the Bar Mitzvah

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

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Bar Mitzvahs Get New Look to Build Faith

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.

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Isaac’s Failed Bar Mitzvah

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 […]

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Action Research in the BMR: One Congregation’s Story

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.

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Is the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Model Broken?

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, […]

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