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 “Is this the little girl I carried?  Is this the little boy at play?”


Sorry… I can’t help getting sentimental whenever I’m asked to share my thoughts on B’nai Mitzvah. What an extraordinary rite of passage! To see our children who will, let’s face it, always be our babies, dressed beautifully, standing proudly at the podium. To hear these children lead a Shabbat service, chant from the Torah and from their Haftarah, and then compose and read an interpretation of the Torah portion of the week – what an unmitigated blessing for them and for all of us.


A Bar/Bat Mitzvah reminds us of the miracle of life and family. It draws our attention to how quickly time passes and how precious every day can be. While it’s true that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah student is doing the heavy lifting of practice and study, everyone in the family is involved in the act of transition from child to adult.


The more that you can be tuned into your child’s progress from week to week, the more often you can have a conversation with your child about their Torah portion and why this is meaningful to your family, the more fulfilling it will be: for you and for your Bar/Bat Mitzvah student.


I would strongly urge you to attend B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies at our temple. No one needs an invitation to enter the sanctuary – it’s open to everyone. Get a sense of the rhythm of the service as well as the logistics. It will help you feel comfortable with this remarkable event.


We, the temple staff, are devoted to making sure that you and yours have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah that celebrates love and dedication and commitment to a joyous Jewish life.


Rabbi Keith Stern

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