Friday, March 23, 2018
Thursday, January 11, 2018

From the outside, a bar or bat mitzvah can seem routine. Teenagers study for a few years, have a ceremony when they are either 12 or 13 years old and then have a party. However, the path often is more complex for those who are not able to go through the typical process. Jewish adults who wer…

Jewish teens and their families will remember their b’nai mitzvahs for as long as they live. They can also look fondly back on those of their friends. Here, we ask four Jewish teens their favorite friends’ b’nai mitzvahs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Guests at Congregation Temple Israel’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Those in Need typically just head to the auditorium for a meal with the usual holiday spread. But on Wednesday last week, after they finished eating, they were also invited to go to the chapel.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Studying for a bar or bat mitzvah can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences in a young teenager’s life. There are months upon months of studying, which often place teens in high-stress situations. Often times students carry enormous anxiety with them as their bar or bat mitzvah approaches.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Saturday, I had the joy of attending the bar mitzvah of my friend Paul Gallant at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Paul is 82 years old.

I’m convinced Paul coined the phrase, “You’re never too old to rock and roll,” because Paul has never allowed age to define him, or hold him back. Long ago he decided an old dog could learn new tricks, and learn them well, as witnessed by the fact that he first took up running at age 57. And we’re not just talking a casual jog around the park.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Josh Fingerman is creating custom-made mezuzahs from Legos as his mitzvah project. He sells them for $36 and has already raised more than $2,500, which he plans to donate to three nonprofit organizations, including Temple Israel, where he will become a bar mitzvah in October.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chase Pultman, who has High Functioning Autism, became a bar mitzvah in February at B’nai Amoona. In the attached PDF, read his moving d'var Torah about the counting of the Jewish People at Mount Sinai, and how he feels at times that because of his autism, he does not always “count” in the e…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On a recent Shabbat morning, the sanctuary at Central Reform Congregation is bathed in sunlight and alive with music and dance. Independence Day was the day before, but the festivities aren’t in honor of the July Fourth weekend. Instead, as the ruckus dies down, the words of Scott Goldman ri…

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For many Jewish pre-teens, the most daunting aspect of their bar/bat mitzvah is the idea of a mitzvah project, or an act of charity that betters the community. After it is successfully completed, numerous experience a sense of fulfillment, and promise to further this charitable activity with…

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It is among the best-known Jewish traditions, one that often sees parents and children alike preparing for months. But Rabbi Ze’ev Smason knows the ceremony marking Jewish adulthood can come with a price.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

NEW YORK — Dressed in a black-and-white tuxedo and surrounded by a  Secret Service detail, former President Bill Clinton greeted well-wishers at a bar mitzvah held at an upscale hotel in Los Angeles, shaking hands with guests and patiently posing for pictures. Once everyone had arrived, the …

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. 

Multimedia

Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter

Enter your email to receive a weekly digest of Jewish Light headlines:

News & Schmooze

Ohr Chadash Teen Page

Search our site

Share your simcha with the community: Click for links to our engagement, wedding and anniversary forms.

Mitzvot from the Heart

Thursday, May 23, 2019

People enjoy celebrating their birthdays with parties, but not everyone gets that luxury. Joey, son of Lisa and Larry Carson of Chesterfield, realized this and wanted to make a change. He wanted more kids to have great birthday parties like he had enjoyed. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Thursday, November 29, 2018

At 5 years old, while visiting family in Washington, D.C., Ethan witnessed firsthand the homeless issue in the United States. It was difficult for him to understand why these people were sleeping on park benches, street corners and in alleys without a safe or stable place to call home. Even though it was foreign to him, Ethan was determined to seek out homeless people in other cities he and his family visited and feed them a hot meal. 

Friday, November 09, 2018

As hard as it was studying Hebrew for her bat mitzvah and as nerve racking as it was standing on the bimah in front of more than 100 people, Kate said it was all worth it. That’s because it brought her to the beginning of her mitzvah project at Country Acres Pet Rescue in Manchester.

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Thursday, June 21, 2018