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Exciting times ahead

Dear Friends,

Your beloved child who was born almost thirteen years ago will soon enter the congregation of Israel as an adult member. By doing so, your family is affirming a tradition that has lasted thousands of years, adding a link to the chain of Jewish history, and taking a big step towards ensuring that our rich heritage will continue to flourish in the future. This is both a privilege and a responsibility. We share your pride in your child’s accomplishments and look forward to seeing your child as he/she continues to grow and reach their full potential.

A young boy will be known as a “bar mitzvah.” According to our earliest rabbis, a male child upon reaching puberty at the age of “13 years and a day” could be counted in a minyan, be a witness in court and sign a contract. In other words, at 13 and a day, a boy was considered to have reached the age which he could function as an adult.

The term “bat mitzvah” was first used in 1922 when the daughter of Reconstructionist Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan chanted from the Torah before her father’s congregation. With the advent of the feminist movement, liberal Judaism began to encourage girls to become bat mitzvah in the same way as their male counterparts.

Parents are the most powerful teachers and role models for their children. We hope that you will teach them that their Jewish learning does not end at "13 + a day." Judaism presents a unique opportunity to facilitate lifelong learning, engagement, social justice, and community building. It is our hope that you will encourage your child to continue his or her education through confirmation and to become active in youth group programs of learning and leadership.

As your family embarks upon the journey toward your child reaching adulthood, we encourage you to learn together, to enjoy our synagogue community together, and to make yourselves known to each other and to our community so that when your child becomes a bar or bat mitzvah, the experience will be richer and more meaningful for all of you.

We look forward to getting to know you and helping you along the way!


Rabbi Jennifer Jaech
Rabbi Wendy Pein

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyar 5784