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Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah and Jewish Wedding Planning and Resource Guide

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The Significance of the Synagogue

Why You want a Synagogue Bar/Bat Mitzvah for Your Child
By Rabbi Rex Perlmeter on behalf of the Reform Jewish Community of Baltimore

You see, Bar/Bat Mitzvah is all about community. And for the last two thousand years, community has begun and continues to begin in the synagogue. So why should you seek out a synagogue celebration of your child becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah? For:

Community - celebrate with the people and the institutions in which your child is now ready to take a place; the institutions to which he/she will bring unique gifts over the years and from which he/she will draw support and companionship in times of passage as well as in the daily flow of life.

Context - the meaning of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah is part of that flow. In a fragmented world, celebrating so significant an event as part of a holistic journey of life is what renders it meaningful. The synagogue and the relationships upon which it is built are the framework of that journey.

Content - Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is about more than just a set of skills. It is about a body of knowledge which renders one literate and capable of participating in the community's life. The synagogue is the place where that body can be acquired and developed.

Connection - Celebrating becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the synagogue creates an opportunity for forging relationships between the individual, the family, and the people who can be there for you throughout the life journey described above. Lifelong relationships with Rabbis and Cantors can bless all of us at the time of the celebration and later life events at which those relationships can make all the difference.

Core values - The entire approach of the synagogue and the tradition it teaches is values-driven. The message of a communal celebration provides a key balance in values. In a culture which is increasingly "Me"-oriented, the child learns that the greatest value of his/her being lies in becoming a contributing member of a greater community. We celebrate your child by celebrating his/her place among us.

Talk to the local synagogue representatives today. Choose a path of meaning upon which to celebrate the sacred meaning of your child's life and special day.

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