a conversation with Bradley Solmsen and Isa Aron. The two co-directors of the Campaign for Youth Engagement discuss the history of b’nai mitzvah practice, why we need a b’nai mitzvah revolution now, and what such a revolution will encompass. Winter 2012.
Story of how a grandfather connected to his two grandchildren, and vice versa, through their co-creation of bat mitzvah tallit—and how that led to co-creating a chuppah for the marriage of his son. Winter 2011.
Ben Greenspan. First-person account by an eighth grader of how he co-created the film The Road Through Ohrdruf, which features the stories of both survivors and liberators of a small concentration camp called Ohrdruf 65 years after the war; the article also includes historical information and a variety of survivor memories/perspectives. Fall 2011.
For his temple mitzvah project in preparation for his becoming a bar mitzvah, Ryan Coretz of Temple Israel, Tulsa, Oklahoma raised $60,000 to build a Habitat for Humanity house and helped construct it, too. Summer 2011.
Jane E. Herman. How Reform congregations are providing Jewish enrichment to children with special needs; includes time-tested ways to offer them creative and fulfilling b'nai mitzvah ceremonies. Winter 2009.
Interview with Rabbi Jan Katzew. To stem the high dropout rate post b'nai mitzvah, learn from the 7-10% of Reform religious schools that retain 80%+ of students through 12th grade, all of which have key factors in common. Winter 2009.
Elanna Seid. How my 13-year-old mentally retarded sister, who is unable to recognize letters or numbers and hold a normal conversation, was able to become a bat mitzvah. Spring 2007.
Ron Wolfson. Born with a cellular disorder which robbed Avi of speech and limited his ability to learn, "his desire to serve God led to one of the most moving experiences of prayer I have ever witnessed." Summer 2003.
Beth Gilbert. The son of a divorced Jewish father and Baptist mother, living with his Christian mom and step-dad, travels hundreds of miles across Kansas weekly in pursuit of a Jewish education and bar mitzvah. Spring 2003.
Richard Joshua Bronstein. The author reflects on the kindness of his bar mitzvah tutor who walked briefly in and out of his life, but nonetheless set him "on a path towards a lifelong love of Judaism." Fall 2002.
Barbara Levine. The writer asked God to heal her speech impediment. Instead, God freed her of the need to have a perfectly functioning body in order to find fulfillment and joy. Part of Focus: Medicine & Faith. Summer 1996.
Danny Siegel. Highlights notable individuals who instilled ethical content into their bar/bat mitzvah celebrations. Winter 1992.
Danny Siegel. Elana Erdstein's bat mitzvah project shows us just how much impact one person can have. Winter 1992.
Rabbi Janet Marder. Explores the trend of bar/bat mitzvahs toward commercialism and excess and offers ways we can redeem its spiritual meaning. Winter 1992.