Bar / Bat Mitzvah

Bar and bat mitzvah parties so dominate the social lives of teens in New York City that, according to a New York Times article, non-Jewish families are holding "faux mitzvahs" for their envious offspring. What is a bar or bat mitzvah supposed to be? How did it end up like this? Read our overview to learn more, and check out the many new ways families are meaningfully enhancing their bar and bat mitzvah celebrations.

What Does "Today I Am a Man" Mean Today?

By Rabbi Daniel Brenner
As part of bar mitzvah training, boys should brush up against some of the “traditional” values that have defined Jewish men—a love of communal learning and debate, an understanding of the powerful role that comedy plays in coping with oppression, a responsibility to bury one another and to mourn together. Even in egalitarian communities, there are times when men benefit specifically from the support of other men.   more
Blog Post

Bringing Up Baby

by Rabbi Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin, Ph.D.
Life cycle rituals are not fixed experiences—even when the text and ceremony stays the same.   more
Blog Post

Talmud Berachot 17a

By Lawrence Kushner, Translator
"May your eyes sparkle with the light of Torah and your ears hear the music of its words" — a prayer for our children based on a talmudic passage   more