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BY Leo Margul/JNS.org
October 23, 2014

As young people, bar and bat mitzvah parties helped us build character: awkward social interactions, quiet slow dances where you desperately try not to make eye contact and condescending head pats from adults and kids taller than us. Now that we’re older, how do we behave ourselves at our nephew’s celebration? The service The first CONTINUE »

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Synagogues redesign the b’nai mitzvah process to be engaging family affair
BY Melissa Gerr
October 23, 2014

It’s no secret that many Jewish organizations dedicate considerable energy and resources to attract new and maintain existing members of all ages. The bar and bat mitzvah experience is undergoing a similar transformation. Where years ago the 11- or 12-year-old might embark upon their bar or bat mitzvah studies more or less on their own CONTINUE »

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The Hebrew words connect family and friends
BY Allie Freedman
October 23, 2014

I may have been first, but I wasn’t the best. Nearly 10 years ago, I stood on stage and uttered the first word of my Haf’torah at my bat mitzvah: “HALO.” Sounds like hello, doesn’t it? I felt like I was saying hello to the world of Jewish adulthood. As an over-enthusiastic yet semi-tone deaf CONTINUE »

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Getting hold of bat mitzvah fever
BY Simone Ellin
October 23, 2014

Once upon a time when my now 18-year-old daughter was 12 and preparing for her bat mitzvah, she received a package of materials from our synagogue. One of the items in the package was a book called, “Putting God on the Guest List.” I suppose the well-meaning clergy CONTINUE »

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Some families opt to skip town to celebrate
BY Heather Norris
October 23, 2014

Karen Feuerstein wanted her daughter to feel special on the day she officially became bat mitzvah, so she decided to break the mold and host her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony at a tourist destination. In March, Karen and her family will travel east from their home in Bethesda to the National Aquarium at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. CONTINUE »