Bar Mitzvah

Drake's SNL Bar Mitzvah Flashback

We knew Canada-born rap star Drake was Jewish, but he went full-blown MOT during his turn as host of Saturday Night Live this weekend, offering a comic look at how his African American and Jewish relatives came together to celebrate his bar mitzvah. 

Please see our Culture View blog post about Drake's earlier "HYFR" bar mitzvah-themed video.

What A Bar Mitzvah Taught Us, and Our Son

Ever since our son was diagnosed with autism, at age two and a half, I'd been wondering about his bar mitzvah.  I come from a family of shulgoers who lead services, read from the Torah, and sing. My husband does, too. He and I have been teaching b’nei mitzvah for decades, and the question of our son’s bar mitzvah loomed large for 10 years.

Avi and his uncle, rejoicing at Avi's Bar Mitzvah. Photo courtesy Michelle Steinhart

Brooklyn Boy Killed By Van One Month Before Bar Mitzvah

10/09/2013 - 20:00

NEW YORK  — A Brooklyn boy was struck and killed by a van one month before his bar mitzvah.

At His Untraditional Bar Mitzvah, A Son With Autism Leads The Congregation

A piece of my soul died when we decided that Ben’s autism would necessitate a reexamination of a conventional Bar Mitzvah service. Having guided so many young people through their studies towards becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah, I yearned to have the unique privilege of preparing my own son, my firstborn, the way my father, also a rabbi, had long ago prepared me.

Mom and Ben at the Walk for Autism. Ben cut the ribbon to start everybody off. Photo courtesy Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

A Different Kind Of Bar Mitzvah: Walking For Autism

Hidden away, they have been waiting for this day. To be used for the purpose for which they had been created. Beautifully, lovingly.

Rabbi Rebecca Schorr

Meet Mazel: The B'nai Mitzvah Magazine

12/16/2012 - 19:00
Associate Editor

The 21st century’s bar mitzvah year, 2013, is almost here and b’nai mitzvah talk seems to be everywhere.

Mazel Magazine maintains the party is the most important aspect of b'nai mitzvah. Photo courtesy Mazel Magazine

B'nai Mitzvah: A Revolution, Not A Graduation

11/27/2012 - 19:00
Associate Editor

From the Russian to the Chinese to the Sexual to, most recently, an eponymous sci-fi post-apocalyptic TV series, the past century has witnessed its share of revolutions.

Now, with just a bit less tumult (one hopes) comes B’nai Mitzvah Revolution, a Reform Movement pilot initiative to “radically rethink” the Jewish rite of passage and its place in synagogue life and education.

The Reform Movement wants to recast the b'nai mitzvah, which is often viewed as a graduation from Judaism. Getty Images

David Arquette Bar Mitzvahed at Western Wall, 27 Years Late

06/11/2012 - 20:00

 Actor David Arquette, 40, star of the “Scream” movie series and occasional professional wrestler, celebrated his bar mitzvah at the Western Wall on Monday, according to reports.

The soon-to-be-former husband of Courtney Cox, who played Jewish Monica Geller on NBC’s “Friends,” was in Israel to film an episode of “Mile High,” his show on the Travel Channel.

iPad Provides Voice for Bar Mitzvah Boy

One of the great uses of the Apple iPad is for children with disabilities. Steve Jobs was acutely aware of that important use of the tablet that was one of the gadgets of which he was most proud. 

A recent article in the Boston Globe demonstrates just how helpful the iPad is for children with disabilities. Steven A. Rosenberg writes about Matthew Emmi, a bar mitzvah boy who is severely autistic.

Michael and Suzanne Emmi used an iPad to help their autistic son Matthewat… (ESSDRASMSUAREZ/GLOBE STAFF)

Bar And Bat Mitzvah Can Be A Sacred Moment

11/18/2010 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

The great American bar/bat mitzvah has become a source of parody in Jewish life. The 13-year olds are at the most awkward stage of their lives with hormones raging. Anywhere from 10 to 50 friends might be invited who then sit in the sanctuary with no interest in the service and little clue as what is transpiring. The relatives and friends of the parents are polite but often sit stoically, unnerved by the unfamiliarity of the surroundings.

'The generational passage can and should be a sacred moment.' Photo by Greg Land
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