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Monthly Archives: June 2013


The Conversation Continues…”Is the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Model Broken?”

“Is the contemporary bar/bat mitzvah model broken? What role do these celebrations play in the everyday lives of young Jews, and are they working for or against the Jewish community? These questions, and more, were debated on the anniversary episode of The Jewish Channel’s The Salon, only this time the conversation took place in front of a live audience at the JCC in Manhattan.”

Read more on The Jewish Daily Forward and view the conversation of TJCs The Salon 25 Live!


Keeping Up With The Future, by Gabirela Geselowitz, June 11, 2013, The Jewish Week

Gabriela Geselowitz (intern at The Jewish Week) asks:

“If Hillel could summarize Judaism’s teachings while standing on one foot, can modern-day sages do so while standing on one tweet?”

Read what she has to share about The Jewish Futures Conference on Whose Torah Is It Anyway?

What About Bar/Bat Mitzvah for the Dyslexic Child? by Alix Boyle

Whether or not your children or students are dyslexic, this post on the Yale site has valuable insights and ideas for our youth’s journey to becoming a bar or bat mitzvah.

Here’s some of what you’ll find in the full post on the link below:

“The lesson of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, for any child, is to succeed at something you work hard at…The Bar Mitzvah is an opportunity to stand up in front of the community, feel acceptance and a sense of accomplishment. That success translates into other areas of life, including schoolwork and sports.

“’Everyone learns very differently, some children have beautiful singing voices, some don’t. Some kids find Hebrew very difficult, others find it easy,’”….


Direct Impact of Jewish Futures Conference – Whose Torah Is It Anyway?

Just posted in the DigitalJLearning blog: This is not Your Parents’ Megilah by Rivke Pianko

In addition to sharing ideas and impact from The Jewish Futures Conference: Whose Torah Is It Anyway?, Rivka writes:

“This project was one way that I encouraged my students to dig deeper into the text. I have discussed the success of this particular project with my school administrators and colleagues and we are excited about the prospect of incorporating modern techniques in teacher traditional topics.  What methods are you using in your classes?”

Bar Mitzvahs on the Beach, by Rebecca Meiser on

“Destination bar and bat mitzvahs take Jewish ceremonies to exotic locations—far from the synagogue back home”

By Rebecca Meiser, May 17, 2013, Tablet Magazine

Read about the growing trend in bnei mitzvah in exotic locations. What are your thoughts on this? Value? Concerns?

Drawing New Interest to the Talmud on eJewishPhilanthropy

eJewishPhilanthropy today highlights a new approach to Daf Yomi, the practice of study a “daf” (folio page) of Talmud each day….through drawing! Read and See their post!

The article by Edmon J. Rodman of highlights the work of Jacqueline Nicholls.

Beyond Robots vs. Cheerleaders: A New Model of Understanding by Lisa Berney

Rebekah knows the Ten Commandments by heart. She can recite the months of the Jewish calendar in order and can explain the laws of kashrut verbatim. She became a Bat Mitzvah and celebrated her Confirmation, yet she remains lost and frustrated with Judaism, pondering what any of this has to do with her life. Now meet Sarah. Sarah bonded with the Israeli soldier on her Birthright bus and danced with Miriam and her timbrels at NFTY conventions, but wonders: where does this song come from? What is the foundation on which these rituals are built? Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Rebekahs and the Sarahs of the Jewish world have yet to meet. Will the lover of Judaism ever interact with the knower of Judaism? In Jewish education, educational leaders must create a synthesis of Rebekah’s knowledge of the canon and Sarah’s Jewish attachment.


Unless Rebekah finds meaning and experiences passion for Judaism and Sarah finds knowledge and articulates where all of these practices come from, we will be doomed to Jewish communities filled with cheerleaders or robots.

Read Lisa Berney’s full essay!