Secular and cultural Jews have an opportunity and a challenge when the time comes to finding an appropriate way to mark the passage of their teenage children into adolescence or young adulthood. While there has been a traditional model for Jews to enact this ritual, it is not one that many secular Jews want to perpetuate. They especially have not wanted to repeat rote memorization and lack of comprehension of their own youth. While some may enjoy preserving a connection to Torah, others do not want to give the Torah privileged status over the rest of our Jewish literature.
Fortunately, secular Jews have figured out that there isn't a single way within Jewish culture how to carry out the bar or bat mitzvah. In fact secular Jews have enthusiastically discovered creative and innovative approaches to this rite of passage including research on family history and values, role models and heroes, along with purposeful community service.
Rabbi Schweitzer developed a creative Bar/Bat Mitzvah program that offers an exciting and meaningful way for secular Jewish youth to celebrate this significant rite of passage and deepen a personal link to their heritage.
Learn more about the Bar/Bar Mitzvah program at THE CITY CONGREGATION FOR HUMANISTIC JUDAISM. Click here.
Read the outstanding papers of the congregation's bar/bat mitzvah students. Click here.
Read Rabbi Peter's article, Let Me Think For Myself: Alternative Ways to celebrate bar or bat mitzvah, featured in Tweens & Teens (Oct. 2006). Click here.
Read Rabbi Peter's article, A Journey of Self-Discovery, featured in Mitzvah (Fall 2009). Click here.