Not your father’s Bar Mitzvah?

Leaders of the largest branch of Judaism, the Reform movement, are initiating a reinvention of the bar and bat mitzvah process.

The movement stems from a concern that the current approach places too great an emphasis on Torah study at an age when youth are ill-equipped to grasp its full meaning. One suggestion is to delay the ceremony until children are older; another is to replace Hebrew school with a focus on community service. Thirteen Reform congregations across the nation have volunteered to pilot the change, and an additional 67 have signaled interest.

—Alex Bortolot, Content Strategist

September 10, 2013

Source: Laurie Goldstein, New York Times, “Bar Mitzvahs Get New Look to Build Faith,”, September 3, 2013. Photo: Guy Vlau for the New York Times